On this day in 1972, a case left the chief ACT Stipendiary Magistrate, Mr K. Dobson speechless, The Canberra Times reported.
In most situations Mr Dobson was usually unruffled, even if called a "bloody idiot" from the public seats. However, this particular case had left him speechless.
A solicitor, Mr J. Brown, pleaded guilty for a client who had been charged with speeding, and the police prosecutor, Constable S. Berzins, began reading the facts of the case.
The constable explained the defendant had told the traffic policeman who had apprehended him he had been on his way to see 'Princess Ida'.
"Who's she?" asked Mr Dobson.
"I don't know, your worship," said Constable Berzins.
"It's a Gilbert and Sullivan opera," helped out Mr Brown.
"I thought it was a command performance," said Mr Dobson.
Mr Brown went on to explain that it had been in a way a command performance.
His client had been hurrying to the opera because the Governor-General was to be there and his client had not wanted to be rude by arriving late.
The client had in fact arrived late because of the time lost when being booked. Mr Dobson fined Mr Brown's client $40 and added: "I'm too flabbergasted to comment."