ONE CANNOT HELP remembering that in days long past our Fleet always managed to be in Melbourne for the Cup and our ships and men were definitely a part of the scene.
The Selection Board for the Naval College also sat in Melbourne and youths who had passed the Entrance Exam were interviewed. The Headmaster, Commanding Officer and others involved quizzed the candidates, asking questions such as: ‘What was the number of the tram in which you came?’
This could be answered in several ways – a clever lad not knowing the number could make one up and win a rating of, say, 7 out of 10. Another might say ’I came in our car’ and get 10 out of 10. A lad who did not know and said so would be rated 0 out of 10.
A popular question was ’What was the name of the horse that won the Cup yesterday?’ This was followed customarily by: ‘We have asked you many questions – it is now your turn to ask the Board a question.’
The winner for this one was the lad who asked: ‘Could the Board please tell me the name of the horse that came second?’ – and no one on the Board knew!