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promise to attend, probably thinking that I would need something to take my mind off a defeat.

        Now I took out the invitation and looked at it again.   For weeks my time had been totally committed to the campaign, with a countdown of days to the election.   Yesterday had been day zero:   No plans had been made beyond it, as if time would then stop.   But I had promised Coombsie to turn up at his barbecue at Hunters Hill, and at least it was something to do while I tried to organise my thoughts.

        Reluctantly, I pulled on some clothes and drove the Holden towards the unfamiliar suburb on the banks of the Lane Cove River.

        It was some time before I found the park.   Arriving late, I joined a crowd which was listening to a speech by Justice Michael Kirby, the Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission.   He was attacking churchmen who tried to pressure politicians into revealing their religious beliefs.   "Australia is not free of intolerance    and unreasonable pressure on individual conscience", said the well-known jurist.

         I searched for friendly faces.   Coombsie was occupied with his official duties and the crowd began to break up into small groups to eat lunch on the grass.   I lined up to collect a charred sausage on bread with sauce, although I was not really hungry.   Just as I was retiring to a quiet spot, my name was called:   

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