Monday, 18 June 2012

Bearing the Mace

Bradford College management seem to have blundered into a Public Relations disaster with the decision to invest many thousands in a ceremonial mace.  As a seasoned and veteran mace bearer having had the priviledge of carrying the university mace at least once at almost every degree ceremony since starting at the university I am reminded of a few things which may be state secrets:
(1) The University Mace fell off the podium (before my time) and had to be "fixed" in the engineering workshop labs between degree ceremonies.  It still has a distinct "wobble"
(2) The City Mace (and mayoral chain) are solid gold and their value is significant (priceless?).  The chain is so heavy because each mill owner who took the chain of office wanted to provide an even bigger and better contribution to the chain.
(3) The only time that the Mace should officially be used is to protect the Chancellor I think.  On the one occasion that someone approached the stage (wearing a rucksack) and in the middle of an acceptance speech, everyone, inlcuding the macebearer stood and stared and sat transfixed.  It was in fact the photographer's assistant providing some gear to the photographer on stage..
(4) When the chancellor (Imran Khan) was presiding a student produced a cricket bat and marker pen with a flourish from under his gown for autographing.  The Mace was not deployed!

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