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into Sydney Road, which runs across the flat of Manly, up the hill behind, and on towards the distant city of Sydney.   I passed more dilapidated buildings, more signs of decay.   Half a dozen real estate agencies proclaimed their wares with tawdry signs and faded photographs.   They showed little enthusiasm to attract custom.

        Ahead, across the wide intersection before the hill, Gilbert Park was shaded under giant Morton Bay Fig trees. My first dentist had rooms nearby and I had often waited in the park until the moment came to delivery myself to his chair.   On this February Saturday, in 1974, a crowd was gathering under the trees.

        At the intersection I was halted by a red traffic light, and joined a pair of men at the kerb.   They were overdressed for Manly, wearing navy yachting jackets and ties despite the heat.   The man with the silver hair and glasses was easy to identify as "Diamond Jim" McClelland, a Minister in the Whitlam Government.   His younger, darker companion was more difficult to place;  until he glanced sideways and I recognised the aquiline features of Neville Wran, the new Leader of the Opposition in New South Wales.   Still strangers, we stood together, waiting in silence.   Then the light changed to green, and we crossed over to the park.

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