It was to start at 8pm, Monday the 12th of May. It was the beginning of a frosty night when I parked my car at the front of the CWA building opposite the police station here in Moss Vale. I noticed a few men entering and I knew I would not just be the sole person to turn up. It took me back many years when I used to be a member of the ALP, back in the time of Whitlam and his sacking. “Maintain your rage” we were advised. Some of us did.
I decided to re-join, even if just for the camaraderie or commoraderie as it was more known for in those earlier years of brawls and fisticuffs. It was during the late seventies, early eighties. I remember a fire extinguisher being hurled out of the Balmain town-hall where a meeting was being held. A burly man in the back of the queue during a joining of new members shouted “make way for a pregnant woman”, while shoving people around. “You’re not fucking pregnant,” someone shouted, before all hell broke loose and the mentioned fire extinguisher thrown through the window, lights switched off and the books were stolen. That was the time when the factions between left and right wings were coming to a head.
Last night I was warmly welcomed by a few including an old ALP warrior and fighter from way back, Rodney Cavalier who now lives in Bowral.
I felt back home again with usual time taken up by the necessary rituals of all meetings, the passing of last meeting’s minutes, correspondence and the passing of motions. I was pleased to a positive sign emerging when a motion was passed, unanimously by the Moss Vale branch in favour of Australia being urged to also accept Palestine’s seat to the UN as an observer state. (Australia abstained from the voting in favour of Palestine even though 138 countries approved.)
The meeting closed at 10pm and there was tea, coffee and biscuits afterwards. A good meeting.
I drove home while the outside temperature was 4c. Helvi was there, nice and warm, watching the tail-end of Q&A. Milo jumped up as well.