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brandishing the offending pamphlet.

"This is supposed to be a non-political meeting!" he shouted, "why are you giving out these filthy lies?"

For a moment, Meers looked frightened. I was also worried -- Alf had a history of heart trouble and I did not want him to drop dead while trying to defend me.  

Several of the "heavies" were moving towards us, as were some of our own people. We were close to an all-in brawl, before the meeting had even started. I pulled Alf away by the arm:

"Shut up! You're only making things worse. We have to get on with the meeting -- I have to speak and I can't be worrying about what's happening to you," I told him firmly.

He accepted my order, and reluctantly walked away from Meers and his supporters. The tension had eased slightly.  

Michael Petrie started the meeting with a rambling account of the perils of riding a surfboard in sewage. He was followed by Shane Steadman, a well known surfing commentator on radio; Andrew Kalajzich, the president of the Chamber of Commerce; and Joan thorburn, the Mayor. All of them agreed that the pollution on the beaches was a serious threat to the local community, and that the Government should do something about it. None, however, offered any practical advice on how the sewage should be dealt with.

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