Saturday, September 1

Alexander, the Ouch Bishop and a bunch of nuns

Yesterday my daughter's school held a prayer service to bless and officially open their new buildings. I did briefly whine about this in a previous post but really, I didn't mind attending it, these things are important. Ahem.

Being a Catholic school it was all done with maximum fuss and holy water. The festivities were kicked off by a welcoming speech by my favourite RE teacher, the aptly named and fabulously bossy Mr Priest. But what really deserves a mention here is the calibre of the guests attending this thing.

For a bit of background this is a very small, Dominican school of 160 students in a (very beautiful) small town. So I was impressed to discover that the prayer service was being conducted by no less than the Archbishop himself (or 'Ouch-bishop' as Aislin calls him). The unveiling of the plaque and official opening was done by the tiny 'Sister Joan' who was last Dominican principal before they introduced Lay teachers and principals in the 70s. Guests of honour included people like the Director of Catholic Education, the school's board of directors, the local Mayor and some other Dominican sisters (ex teachers and principals). Oh and a couple of politicians. Because all schools should have politicians hanging around their events.

Now I try to avoid getting political on this blog. Except for the occasional snide comment about people like Tony Blair I keep my political leanings to myself. However, for the purposes of this particular post I am going to break that rule just a little bit. You see one of the politicians attending this service at the school was a Federal MP, not just any Federal MP - it was our Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer. The school is certainly in his constituency but I was pretty surprised to see him there. I mean, he's the Foreign much as I dislike him, his party and his politics I concede that his job probably keeps him pretty busy. So why, I have to ask myself, is he at this tiny school's function. Admittedly it's an election year, but even if the government don't get back in it's unlikely he'd lose his seat and he wouldn't have to try to win many votes among the parents at our school (it's that kind of area). His wife has some connection to the school, maybe she made him come. I don't know, but I've decided to consider that he did it because he was invited and maybe, just maybe, he thought it would be a good thing to do. I'm trying really hard not to be cynical here.

Anyway, he sat across the aisle from me and I am very proud of my restraint in managing to sit through the entire service without once lobbing a spitball at him.....which was my greatest desire.

So Mr Downer, whatever your reasons for attending I think it meant a lot to a lot of people, including the children, that you came. So I will grudgingly say 'you did a good thing' but you're still not getting my vote - you big prat.

Oh and if you're reading this ASIO, calm down, I mean him no harm.

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