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three of the main buildings. The resident Health Department staff watched the unprecedented activity in their domain with amazement.

In November, one of my constituents who was the licensee of a city hotel came to see me in Parliament. Kevin Grimm, a former champion boxer, was a huge man. Squeezed into one of my chairs, he was sweating and gasping for breath after walking a couple of blocks from his pub, the Customs House Hotel in Macquarie Place.

Macquarie Place, a small triangle of  grass and trees and paving stones, is on a site which was the foreshore of Sydney Cove when the First Fleet landed in 1788. Over the decades that followed it was surrounded by buildings, including the Customs House Hotel which was now more than 120 years old.

The financial centre of the city was established nearby. Generations of Bankers, stockbrokers and woolbuyers were regular patrons of the pub. Next door was the head office of The Farmers and Graziers, the woolbrokers who had sold my grandfather's clip. As a boy I had been taken inside to meet their managing director, George Bassett, who was a Country Party MLC and a close friend of the family. Afterwards, I walked out into Macquarie Place to stand in awe under the huge anchor from HMS "Sirius", the flagship of the First Fleet. A few steps away was an obelisk, set up long ago

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