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Wooloowin SS Teacher - Public Service Award

5/10/2015

​Tuesday 22 September

Standing in the school car park, wearing a suit and tie, Mr McDade tugged at his coat and checked the shine of his shoes. He couldn’t remember the last time he had worn a suit. There was an air of excitement as he waited for his guests. Finally, he was going to meet the Queensland Governor , His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, and receive his Public Service Medal. He had been waiting for many months…anticipating and wondering what this day was to bring.
I was the second to arrive, closely followed by Mr Hansen. Both of us dressed to suit the formal occasion. Both of us feeling honoured that Mr McDade would invite us along to share in his proud achievement.
When his final two guests, Mr Warner and Ms Nelson arrived, we set off for Government House. What were we going to have to eat seemed to dominate the conversation during the journey there.
Once we arrived, we were required to wait in the garden area while Mr McDade was whisked away for instructions. There was a strict order of events for the official ceremony and every one was expected to follow it exactly.
The ceremonial room was small and adorned with photographs of the Queen. Mr McDade was one of a number of recipients that day. We felt very proud as he walked up to receive his award. He remained his usual calm and unassuming self, but I did notice a smile on his face as he turned and walked back to his seat…walking a little taller and a little prouder.
Afterwards, we were invited to afternoon tea with the Governor General on the lawn of Government House. Wine, tea, coffee, cakes and cucumber sandwiches as well as many other delicacies were consumed that afternoon. Our expectations were far exceeded!
It was a wonderful experience and one that I was honoured to be able to participate in. Thank you and congratulations, Mr McDade.


Elizabeth Skarshewski