'Behind the scenes' for Gavel's official debut

The death of William Shakespeare 400 years ago tomorrow is a timely reminder that many sayings in our modern lexicon have a Shakespearean complexion – including ‘every dog has its day’.

This was quite literally true for police recruit dog Gavel (see footnote), who made his official debut yesterday when he accompanied His Excellency and Mrs de Jersey in to the Drawing Room at Government House at a reception held in honour of The Queen’s 90th birthday, all before an audience of former Governors, politicians, judges, and business and community leaders.

Although Gavel – in training to become a police dog – has been at Fernberg for two weeks (of an expected 12 month stay), and was handed over to the Governor by the Police Commissioner last week, this was Gavel’s first official engagement.

Preparations began early in the day, with the Governor familiarising Gavel with the room where the reception would take place, while, in the background, Government House staff meticulously arranged a portrait of The Queen for the Loyal Toast.  

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Prior to the reception, Gavel and the Governor’s Honorary Aides-de-Camp welcomed reception guests under the Porte Cochere...

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... including a familiar face, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart.

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As Gavel’s announcement time approached, he was escorted in to the House, where he greeted former Queensland Governor, the Honourable Leneen Forde, who kept pet German shepherds while a Fernberg resident.

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To avoid being startled, Gavel was familiarised with Australian Army Band Brisbane musician Curtis Willcox, who would soon perform a fanfare trumpet salute preceding the entrance in to the Drawing Room of His Excellency and Mrs de Jersey (with Gavel in tow).

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Gavel’s handler at Fernberg - the Acting Deputy Official Secretary, checked his watch. It was time.

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There was a final reassuring pat from His Excellency.

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And police recruit Gavel made his official debut.

Footnote: This is perhaps a somewhat more congenial interpretation of the phrase than its use in Shakespeare's Hamlet:

Hear you, sir; What is the reason that you use me thus?
I loved you ever: but it is no matter;
Let Hercules himself do what he may,
The cat will mew and dog will have his day.

uttered by Hamlet, somewhat righteously, to Laertes, who blames Hamlet for the death of his sister Ophelia, and later kills Hamlet.