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hours the members had been engaged in the serious business of drinking.

        By this time we had finished eating and I rose to speak.   The audience was far from being critical.   They clapped when they saw me on my feet, and then turned back to their beer and their mates.   I read the speech, unexpectedly happy in the knowledge that nobody thee cared what I said.

           When I sat down, they cheered and waved their empty glasses at me.   The waiters quickly moved in with fresh jugs of beer.   It was all good fun--they had not heard   my speech but they wished me well.

        Some time later, I accepted a similar invitation from the Balgowlah RSL.   This was a smaller club. up on the hill in 'tiger country.'

         I arrived at the about the same stage of the evening as before, with the members already well into the beer.   However, this time there was a different procedure   There was no dinner.   Rows of chairs had been arranged in front of a small stage, on which the officials and guests would be seated.   The president and secretary were both friendly and took me up to a seat in the front row behind a microphone.   Next to me were David Arblaster, the member for Mosman (a Liberal) and Air Vice Marshal Townsend, Controller of the State Emergency Services.

         The president went to the microphone and called

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