Thursday 5th March 2015
Thursday 5th March saw the Sisters of the Order of Perpetual Indulgence gather at Wharf 2 at Circular Quay to meet and greet members of the gathered faithful who were going to join them on their annual visitation to Taronga Zoo held each year to coincide with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival.
As departure time approached it soon became apparent that there was to be no gathered faithful joining them, at least for the journey across by ferry.
Not to be swayed from their task the sisters boarded the ferry, looking forward to enjoying the boat ride across the mighty Sydney Harbour and to greeting any gathered faithful who may have chosen, as some often do, to meet them just inside the main gates of the zoo.
Alas upon arrival and the establishment of contact with the band of zoo keepers and volunteers who had also gathered to greet any guests, it soon became apparent there was indeed not a single member of the gathered faithful to join them this year.
This was the first time in recorded history this had occurred and what ensued was a brief discussion on possible reasons for this unprecedented occurrence. Could they have done more to inform would be attendees of the event? Could earlier notice of the intended visitation in the usual social media channels been given? Was it perhaps because a certain organisation decided not to include community groups in their festival advertising this year? Or could it have been because that same organisation also decided not to publish a festival guide this year and rely solely on on-line advertising.
It was quickly decided not to dwell on what might have been, or what might have been done, but to focus on the day at hand.
An unprecedented no show of gathered faithful was soon turned into one of the most successful and enjoyable visitations to the zoo as keepers, volunteers and sisters embarked on their own, very special perambulation of the zoo. An excursion which included a visit to the arachnid house, and some exploration of behind the scenes areas as the sisters and volunteers were treated to a very special guided tour.
As always the tour culminated in the free flight bird show followed by lunch, libation and merriment at one of the zoo's restaurants where the sisters were also joined by some of the volunteers.
The sisters humbly extend a very big thank you to Leanne and every one of the keepers and volunteers who helped make their visit such a memorable one.
The Sisters hope to see you all back next year!
Please click on thumbnails to view larger image slideshow
Photos courtesy of Jo Niven & Peter BridgePlease click on thumbnails to view larger image slideshow