Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Opening of Parliament Ceremony

Yesterday my choir, the Darwin Chorale, was invited to sing at the Opening of Parliament Ceremony here in Darwin. It was a very important occasion. We have only one House, the Legislative Assembly and we have not get attained statehood.

You can see two lions dancing around the Chamber, one is purple and one golden yellow.
Members are giving them special red envelopes to ensure prosperity.
See the musicians in yellow shirts and black pants.
Hanging under the clock is the lettuce for the lion to eat.
On the right are the Lord Mayor and the Town Clerk in their formal robes.
On the left are the Defence Force dignitaries.
In the gallery behind the glass are the students. The general public is in the galleries.
The Speaker and the elected Members were in their normal street clothes, but very nice ones. Some of the men wore suits. All the men wore ties. There were important invited guests seated in the Chamber too. This included the heads of the Army, Navy and Air Force based here in Darwin and they wore their formal uniforms and ribbons. The Lord Mayor was in her formal robes and looked magnificent. The public was seated in the galleries. Two local schools had sent classes to watch and they were in a section behind glass - children might make a sound I suppose.

The Chorale was positioned up in one of the galleries and our role was to perform the national anthem. It went really well and most of the other people joined in. There was no music of course.

After the introductions, the anthem, and a blessing by the Christian Church we were also blessed by the Lion Dance. A troupe of entertainers from the Chung Wah Society brought their drums and, cymbals. There were three lions, two golden and one purple. Each lion had two dancers and they went around the chamber so that the members could feed them the special red envelopes for prosperity. Then the largest lion climbed up and ate the green lettuce, officially blessing the Chamber and ensuring good fortune and wise decisions. We were allowed to take photos, a very unusual thing as cameras and that type of recording equipment are not actually permitted during business.

Two gold and one purple. Musicians. Dignitaries in robes.
A recess was called and we all went into the Great Hall for a delicious morning tea. Maybe it was a networking opportunity. Maybe it was a chance to thank everyone for such a wonderful start to the year's difficult decisions. I wonder if there are many cities like ours where this could happen.


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