It seemed slightly surreal walking into Brisbane Airport today. For many of us in the freethought community, the High Court Challenge has consumed a great deal of our time and attention. Now, at last, I was about to board a flight to Canberra for the hearing tomorrow!
I met Maria Proctor, President of the Humanist Society of Queensland in the departures area and we checked in together. The Queensland Humanists have been a major sponsor of the Challenge, contributing in excess of $25,000 towards Ron’s legal costs. I must say, I was very proud to have Maria as my travelling companion.
In the departure lounge, who should saunter up but Ron Williams and Hugh Wilson (Australian Secular Lobby) – fortuitously booked on the same flight as us.
It was great to catch up with them both ‘pre-hearing’ and both were relaxed and in exceedingly good spirits as you can see from the photo below:
We caught up with Ron and Hugh again as we disembarked at Canberra. As soon as we arrived at the airport Ron’s mobile started running hot with calls and texts. He’ll be appearing on Sunrise tomorrow – broadcasting live from Parliament House. I don’t have an exact time, but I believe it will be around 6.30am-7am. There might also be an article in the Daily Telegraph tomorrow.
Maria mentioned that she’d had a call from a television producer asking if there would be anyone protesting about chaplaincy outside the High Court.
“Protesting?” said Maria, puzzled, “You mean, with placards?”
“I certainly hope not!” Maria replied. “This is a serious case, I’d be most disappointed if anyone tried to turn it into a circus by waving placards around!”
So, sorry, journos – as far as we know there’ll be no photo opportunities of rabid atheists and humanists picketing the High Court! Hopefully we have way too much class for that – and it’s certainly not the kind of support that Ron wants, or needs!
Ron was telling us how grateful he was to Phillip Adams for the opportunity to tell his story on Late Night Live last week. We all had a laugh about Uncle Phil saying to Ron, “You’re a trouble maker!”
Ron also said that PZ Myers’ blog post about the High Court Challenge brought donations in from as far afield as the USA and Norway. Thanks from all of us, PZ and Pharyngulites!
We shared a taxi into Canberra with Ron and Hugh and hope to catch up with them later tonight – depending on just how hot Ron’s mobile rings in the interim.
We’re also looking forward to catching up with Max and Meg Wallace from the Australia New Zealand Secular Association, Andrew Rawlings from the Melbourne Atheists, Elida Radig from the Progressive Atheists and, hopefully, the local Canberra Atheists as well. Whether we can fit all that in to one night remains to be seen – but we’ll try!
The hearing begins at 10am tomorrow morning and finishes (for the day) around 4pm. I’ll try to post an update at lunchtime and another in the evening. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, here’s the view of Canberra from our apartment. (Just to prove we’re really here!)
Posts in this High Court Challenge Series (in order):
If you support Ron Williams’ High Court Challenge, please consider making a donation at the High Court Challenge website. Support for Williams has been overwhelming, but legal fees are still outstanding. Ron, his wife and their six children should not have to bear the full brunt of the outstanding amount.