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Bearing Witness: Essays in honour of Brij V.Lal

Brij Over Troubled Waters

Tessa Morris-Suzuki

Read out in February 2013, at the function to thank Brij Lal when he stepped down from his role as Acting Director of CHL.

In 2012 we were sorely perplexed:

our Director was gone; we awaited the next.

Ken George was appointed, but till he was here

how would we survive a long leaderless year?

Then, when all was confusion, and none could find peace

an intrepid captain stepped up at the crease.

He could bat like Tendulkar and out-bowl Patel

when it came to defending our Team CHL.

He dealt with our crises with patience and humour

(assisted of course by the wisdom of Huma).

He knew about budgets, RTS and RIBG

and could argue our case with the powers that be,

But even more crucial (I know you’ll agree)

was the way he promoted the School Morning Tea.

His burden was heavy and painful at times

(almost as painful as some of these rhymes)

but we’re endlessly grateful for all that he’s done,

for (if you will forgive the obvious pun)

he’s served as our bridge over wild stormy seas

with his warm human touch and his calm expertise.

So lift up your glasses and give a big cheer

For a match-winning innings throughout the past year.

From Suva to Seoul to the Suez Canal

there’s no leader like our own captain, Brij Lal.

Glossary

CHL

School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University

RTS

Research Training Scheme. A grant given to domestic students undertaking a higher degree at an Australian university

RIBG

A Research Infrastructure Block Grant is described, in the weasel words of the funding body, as being dispensed ‘on a calendar year basis, to eligible Australian higher education providers (HEP) to maintain and strengthen Australia’s knowledge base and research capabilities by developing an effective research and research training system’ (Australian Government Department of Education and Training, ‘Research Infrastructure Block Grants.’ Online: education.gov.au/research-infrastructure-block-grants (accessed 13 December 2016)).


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