How happy the memories had the Delegates as they started Thursday. John’s retirement celebration of yesterafternoon had brought together so many folks from out of the past and all across the land. Reminiscing over a wee dram or two lasted long into the night.
The General Committee took the floor with four Resolutions to deal with plus three referrals. Some of the recommendations were accepted with little fanfare, others weren’t. Resolution 99 concerning Phoenix pay took quite an interesting journey on its route to being passed. The Committee’s recommendation was non-concurrence. The originator of the resolution rose to explain his intent and suggest a revised “BE IT RESOLVED.” The Chair ruled it out of order because it changed the original intent. The Delegate challenged the Chair. The Chair may have had logic on his side, but sometimes emotion rules supreme. The floor overwhelmingly supported the Delegate. Brother John did set a precedent by voting, albeit ineffectually, for the first time in his 18 year tenure. The Resolution was revised, and revised once more, then eventually unanimously passed. The General Committee was dismissed, their business being completed.
At eleven-thirty, Delegates, Observers and Honourable Guests boarded four buses and were transported to the front of Esquimalt Base. Speeches were made, traffic was impeded, and protestors sang and marched with flags unfurled. One very foolish cab driver tried to push people out of his way. He was quickly convinced to turn around and disappear. MPs arrived but wisely decided not to intervene but just block off incoming vehicles. There was much press coverage.
Brother John led the group over the hill and right up to the Front Gate. Calls were made for the Admiral to come out, but he chose not to. MPs tried to block entry to two base workers that had come out to join the march. Hundreds of cheering Unionists surging forward soon changed their minds. The buses returned the demonstrators to the Victoria Conference Centre leaving the Delegates free to conduct other business or relax for a few hours before the evening Banquet.