On a chilly July morning just less than 3 score years ago (for those us born in the metric era that's just under 60 years ago) a young couple where awoken by a thunderous crash in the back garden of their modest home in a small town in England. There in a canister about the size and shape of the old torpedo style side-cars was a small child they decided to keep and call Gavin.
As Gavin grew into adulthood he became interested in Motorcycles and hitting things with sticks (drumsticks that is - yes he is a drummer which might explain a lot) and he would while away his days following these pursuits.
Why Become a Marshal
One day after an extremely arduous journey to the Sacred Place of Motorcycling known as 'The Island' (that would be Phillip Island), while trying to watch the racing Gavin had his view continually blocked by a strange large man wearing orange waving brightly coloured cloth (flags) as the bikes passed by.
Gavin had a brief thought that he too could be a strange large man wearing orange and blocking people’s views of the racing whilst having the perfect place for his own viewing.
Gavin in Orange at the 2015 World Superbikes having achieved his dream of becoming Race Marshal
How Did you become a Marshal
Soon after Gavin decided to trace the base of these Magical Orange clad beings and after suffering a severe Initiation Ritual he was finally allowed to join the Magical Clan (actually we think our membership fee is quite cheap and we obviously aren't that discerning either).
After years of training on a snow covered mountain top (okay we agree that Turn 6 on the Southern Loop is a bit chilly but we don't believe it has ever snowed there Gavin), akin to Kung Fu or Ecky Thump (for those under the age of two score or 40 you can google "The Goodies" to find out more about Ecky Thump), Gavin was finally presented with his Orange Ceremonial Cap and a really, really nice pen.
Gavin’s heart thumped as he realised he too could now wave the ritualistic ceremonial sticks (definitely a drummer thing but we also suspect that Gavin enjoys reading fantasy books and watching old episodes of Monty Python and the Goodies).
These sticks are hand crafted by the ones known as "Stewards" who on the new full moon of each leap year travel to a mystical forest in a far off land to gather wood. The type of wood used is only known to the “Stewards” (we don't want to disappoint Gavin but we think they come from a factory in China). Once they have fashioned the sticks to specifications known only to a few they are passed on like the tablets from the mountain.
Now the "Clerks of the Course", also Mystical and Magnificent but lower ranking than the “Stewards”, weave magic cloths guided by patterns handed down through the ages (and the cloth comes from that same factory in China too). These cloths are then attached to the ceremonial sticks and presented to the Flag Bearers (Marshals).
After many more months under the guidance of the great MOM (not a mystical motherly figure but the Manual of Motorcycle Sport which contains all of the sport's rules) Gavin attained the rights to wear the ceremonial headset where one can hear the voices of the Gods in the Tower. Sometimes these gods can be Angry Men (especially when they have to talk to Gavin but that's probably understandable by now) but they always speak with authority. Any disobedience can cause a severe ringing pain in the ears (only your's Gavin).
Now Gavin has been released into the world to convert others to the Faith (and we are left wondering who unleashed the beast!!!)
Once a month on the Night of Tuesday we gather at the sacred watering hole on a hill in Notting where we feast and drink (that is the Notting Hill pub on Ferntree Gully Rd and we are starting to think this is one of the other reasons Gavin joined. But jokes aside, he's an okay sort of dude).
Race Marshals Victoria © 2015