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Australian News

Australian Chronological Yesterday

WHEN LIBERAL LEADERS SHOUT FOR THE BAR.

Sydney’s journalists established their first club in Phillip St in 1939, on the upper floors of Federation House. It was a late-night dive, which should surprise no one, and my parents, who worked for Packer’s ‘Telegraph’ at the time, said there’d always be a frantic drunken scramble, shirt-tails flying & shoes clattering along the empty street, to catch the last Eastern Suburbs tram as it rattled up from Circular Quay around one AM. Mum swore this was the origin of the phrase ‘to shoot through like a Bondi tram’; then again, Mum swore at lots of things.

From 1958-97 the club had its own premises in Chalmers St, along a narrow lane that ran between Elizabeth St & Central station. The new Journos’ Club had all the raffish elegance of a waterfront early opener, the sort of sleazy dump where half the customers are trying to forget and the other half are trying to remember. The main bar featured lots of memorabilia, among them a yellowed original poster from 1900 announcing the Relief of Mafeking, and a highly-polished ship’s bell. A small plaque warned the unwary that anyone indulging in random tintinnabulation (i.e. without there being a genuine emergency) had to shout around for the entire bar. A persistent legend suggested that the last man to ring that bell was none other than Prime Minister Menzies.

And thus it was that early one morning in 1974 I asked club president (and later historian) Don Angel whether this had happened. He’d been running the club for decades, along with being boss of 2UE News & one of the old-time characters that our media used to spawn. (He also happened to be my uncle, but the two branches of the family had never been close, so I can’t say I’d ever really known him.)

“Remember it like it was yesterday, Danny,” he beamed. “Ming had just had a press conference & was all smiles. He came through that door, read the warning, gave the rope two brisk tugs, and announced in that plummy voice of his ‘It’s always a pleasure to stand around for the gentlemen of the Press.’

“There were only two people in the bar. And yeah, he counted them very carefully.”

The moral of the story is that there is no such thing as a generous Liberal, and there never has been. Scott Morrison: you rang that bloody bell every day for three years, and nothing ever came of it. Eventually, even the faithful realized that your promises didn’t amount to a hill of beans. At times, much as it pains me to have to say it, it seemed you had 90% of Australia’s journalists on your payroll, and it STILL wasn’t enough to save your saggy arse. Now the bell has tolled for thee. So yeah, sunshine, you can shoot through any time you like. Like a Bronte tram, if you insist.

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives.

DAYS OF OUR LIVES: DAN

Those were the days when Australia 🇦🇺 had freedom of the press

@peacewriter51

@acenewsservices

By Peace Truth

Life is like a bunch of roses. Some sparkle like raindrops. Some fade when there's no sun. Some just fade away in time. Some dance in many colors. Some drop with hanging wings. Some make you fall in love. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Life you can be sure of, you will not get out ALIVE.(sorry about that)