As the summer sun burns through the morning mist families play on the beach. Up on a makeshift, truck tray stage a small child from another place gives thanks to a country that has taught her it’s language and now nurtures her on the path to adulthood.
The crowd claps and cheers their faces chiselled through the generations from the genes of a hundred races. Sun hats plopped on heads, ice creams, cold drinks and kids lost in a sea of fun.
The Sea Scouts raise the flag and on this gentle bayside beach everyone stops what they’re doing to sing the National Anthem on this one day of the year, loud and with so much heartfelt pride “Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free …” on they sing with gusto when suddenly and without warning the choir lurches into the second verse.
The fear and uncertainty is palpable as the crowd, united as one, thinks “Shit! What’s the second verse?”