Mafficking at Manly
Ivanhoe Park saw an outbreak of ‘mafficking’ on 30th May 1900. To ‘maffick’ is to celebrate uproariously, and the verb is a jokey backformation from ‘Mafeking’, the British garrison in South Africa, which had held out against a Boer siege for many weeks. (Giles Foden’s novel Ladysmith gives a marvellous fictional evocation of the period.) When the garrison was relieved, it was treated throughout the British Empire as a great victory, and the rejoicing led to wild scenes in London.
In Manly, the Fire Brigade led the ‘victory’ parade. The brass bands played, and marched through Manly to the Oval, where Mayor Fletcher (pictured) made a rousing speech from a raised platform. Rev Anderson Gardiner, the blind minister of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, also spoke to the large crowd, telling them “victory had been achieved, conquest had been made, and gladness and joyousness was all around.” The mafficking continued with a ‘creditable display of fireworks’. The Oval was a sea of coloured lights and ablaze with rockets.