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Urban Transit Authority, Jim Bayutti.

If we could not serve refreshments on the maiden voyage, then perhaps ther ecould be a cup of tea for eevrybody afterwards in Manly. I approached Manly Council, who were fond of putting on lavish receptions for visiting football teams and the like. The aldermen, who had expressed such great concern for the future of the ferry service, voted against contributing anything towards welcoming "Freshwater".

The long awaited inaugural voyage was made on 19 December, the last Saturday before Christmas. Despite all the official foot-dragging, the spontaneous enthusiasm of the public made it a great day. The cew had joined in the festive spirit and "dressed ship" with flags and pennants.

The bureaucrats had decided that the UTA brass band would entertain passengers with martial airs. They were set up on the lower deck. Upstairs, I had ensconced the Original Freshie Jazzband, a local group of professional musicians who had donated their services.

The official guests joined the vessel at Circular Quay. Politicians, senior public servants, and selected residents of Manly-Warringah mixed freely. Everybody seemed delighted by the brand-new ship, with her gleaming paintwork, comfortable seats and large windows.

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