By Peter Robinson
The first big event that occurred after I arrived in Port Vila in 1975 was the Annual Agricultural Show. It was a great event which included a street parade with various floats.
One of the bank customers was the local XXXX distributor, and as the bank single men’s mess was one of his biggest customers, he asked if we would decorate and man his float in the parade to advertise XXXX.
After a very brief period of consideration, we agreed, especially when he said we had free beer for the day. Very early on the day of the parade we had the truck, a mammoth supply of XXX cartons, plenty of XXXX advertising and some palm fronds. We decorated the float and drove down to the marshalling area for the parade and had to wait for the parade to start. While we were sitting there, it rained and it was a very, very heavy shower. By the time we got moving, we were soaked to the skin, the cartons were drenched, and many started to fall apart. What were we to do? Then it hit us, and as we drove down the main street with the rest of the floats we started distributing cans of XXXX to the crowd.
When the parade finished the XXXX distributor came rushing over to us and we expected him to give us grief for giving away a lot of his product. On the contrary, he was delighted and thought it was all a great joke.
Everything went well until we all turned up for work on the following Monday morning. The bank manager hauled us all into his office and threatened to send us all back to Australia for bringing the name of the bank into disrepute. Apparently, a number of customers were the beneficiaries of some of the free beer and had congratulated our manager on the event. He obviously did not get any and was put out about that and decided to give us a serve.
Copyright Peter Robinson 2018 All rights reserved