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BORN IN 1964? WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?

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53rd BIRTHDAY

AN EXCERPT FROM MAY: UNIVERSITY MAYHEM,  MAYBE

On May 6th, the students from the University of Sydney were scheduled to hold their annual Commemoration Day Procession. This w

as often a fun-filled event where a procession of about 50 floats was permitted to proceed from the University for a distance of four miles, through the city, and down to Sydney’s Circular Quay. The floats were generally of a satirical nature, and were often very clever.  As the parade moved along, hordes of volunteers shook brass cans in the faces of spectators, and asked for donations to some worthy cause.  The conduct of most students was always silly, and in most years, quite inoffensive.

This year, it got off to a bad start the night before when a harbour cruise of 1,200 got out of hand.  When it returned to the Quay, six of them were arrested, 10 were treated for cuts from flying glass and two were admitted to hospital. Thirty policemen and six ambulances met the ferry.

This was a bad sign for tomorrow.  For the students, they started the day with raised antagonism towards the police.  For the cops, they thought that this was one of those inevitable years where there might be something that the Press would call a riot. So what they did was to move the procession along quickly, and at such a pace that the students claimed that it was impossible for their foot-soldiers to collect money.  So hackles were raised all round.

When the procession finished, students spread through the city, and some got up to mischief over the next few hours.  Some gathered outside the US Embassy, and chanted and held slogans demanding human rights for US blacks. The police tried to move them on and the usual scuffles broke out, and charges of police brutality were popular for while.  Overnight, the Cenotaph was “violated” by a clothesline stretching from one end of the Cenotaph to the other, covered in women’s underclothing. The line was fastened to a bronze soldier on one side and a sailor on the other.  An old umbrella was pushed under the arm of the soldier. There were other incidents, and most of them were as severe as those reported above.

The citizenry of Sydney did not like what they read in the papers the following day.  The papers were full of indignation for days in what was the biggest Letters barrage of the year. I can offer you only a small sample....

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CONTENTS

JANUARY:  LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER                                                        

NEWS IDEAS ABOUT SMOKING 

 

FEBRUARY:  HMAS VOYAGER SUNK

CHANGES IN WOMEN'S CLOTHING                                                              

MARCH: OPPOSITION TO THE BEATLES                                                                             

TA-B OR NOT TA-B                                                                                       

APRIL:  DOES BILLY GRAHAM STILL WORK?                     

RETARDED CHILDREN                                                                                                  

MAY:  OUR WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY                           

UNI MAYHEM MAYBE                                                                     

JUNE:  WISHING ON A STAR

JULY:   CARE OF UNWED MOTHERS                                                 

ARE THINGS BETTER IN SPAIN? 

AUGUST:  NED KELLY MAKING NEWS                                     

WE'RE IN THE ARMY NOW

                                                                                                                           

SEPTEMBER:  RELIGION IN SCHOOLS                                    

REAL SIGNS OF REAL WAR

                                                                                 

OCTOBER:  RAPE IN THE NEWS                                                

CHURCH OF ENGLAND: IS IT CATHOLIC?

 

NOVEMBER:  PROSTITUTION AS A SAFETY VALVE                           

DRINKING AND THE YOUNG                                                                                    

 

DECEMBER: SNOWY TUNNEL 

END OF A GOOD YEAR