There are stories which Outsider would have liked to be the first to tell and then there are stories that Outsider reckons are so good that they need retelling.
And so it goes with a recent news story surrounding NSW Liberal Senator and former Financial Services Council policy apparatchik, Andrew Bragg and how he became the first non-Greek and non-Orthodox person to receive the highest honour that can be bestowed by the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia – Grand Commander and a member of the Order of Christ-loving.
And all this for a politician who supported same-sex marriage. But Outsider digresses. Even better for Senator Bragg in these market-volatile times, he got gold – receiving two 24 carat gold medals – not bad given the current gold price.
Now Outsider has known Bragg off and on for a few years now and did not regard him as a particularly religious type of individual so he is grateful to the reporters at news.com.au for telling the story of how the newly-minted Senator helped a man of God, who has taken a vow of poverty, obtain a Sydney harbour view.
It seems that Bragg was awarded the Greek Orthodox Church honours because he helped his Eminence Archbishop Markarios of Australia first overcome problems with his tourist visa and then take residence in a luxury Sydney apartment with “stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, a concierge and a heated pool”.
It seems that the bill for picking up the apartment and making it the new residence of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia was paid by the Consolidated Trust of the Archdiocese of Australia and has caused a level of disagreement within the Greek Orthodox community who are more used to their Archbishops occupying modest suburban brick veneer dwellings.
But Outsider doffs his cap to Bragg for helping a hapless tourist – something which prompted the Archbishop to describe the Senator as having “the gift to create a new inner world for people”.
Outsider is not sure that industry fund executives would share the same view of Bragg amid his push for changes to superannuation.