Saturday, January 28, 2006

Australia Day

January 26th is Australia Day.
Our daughter Kathleen, who was born in Australia, called to ask what the Aussies were commemorating with that holiday. I wasn’t sure…I couldn’t remember, but I thought it might be when Captain Cook discovered Australia. Wrong! I asked my husband, who was born in this country (he’s a fair-dinkum Yank. That means ‘true-blue’ for all the non-Australians out there), and to my surprise he knew! Well I wasn’t really all that surprised because one of the many things he likes to read about is history. We spent three and a half years, between in 1979 and 1983, living in Australia, and during that period he read several history books about that country.
Of course he dug out "A pictorial History Of Australia" and looked up ‘Australia Day’ for me to read about.
Here is what I read (just the relevant paragraph)……

‘Captain Authur Phillip had returned to Port Jackson in the Supply and in the afternoon of 26 January he led a party of officers and marines ashore in Sydney Cove. The Union Jack was hoisted, toasts were drunk and volleys fired and three cheers were given by all. Later that day the rest of the fleet arrived and next morning the work of creating a settlement began in earnest.’
The year was 1788.

Thank you Kathy for your question. I relearned something old.

Later that evening I was reading a blog called Gardening for Dummies by Stuart in Western Australia, and he had a post about Australia Day (Stuart, I borrowed your flag, hope you don’t mind). He said Australia Day was the equivalent to the US 4th of July holiday. Well, sorry to disagree Stuart, but it’s not! (I suspect you were just generalizing).
The US Independence Day (July 4th) celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This was the document declaring America’s independence from England. No more bowing to King George III!
That happened in 1776.

The Aussies have never declared their independence from England, which seems to be just fine with most people. I guess they never felt the need to be separated from their English roots.
That’s the way Aussies are :)

One more thing happened that day which made it a very special day indeed. A dear friend called from Australia to wish me a happy Australia Day!!
Thank you dear friend. You made my day :)

I hope all you Aussies out there had a happy Australia Day!

(I want everyone to count the number of times I used the word ‘day’ in this post :)


Alice said...[Reply]

See what blogging has done to us - improved our knowledge of international affairs. Who would have thought it. I think Stuart was probably equating the two days as being regarded as 'National Days' irrespective of the actual reason for celebration. It's also India's National Day on Aust. 26.

Kerri said...[Reply]

Glad to 'see' you Alice :) It IS interesting what you can learn through blogging! Yes, I agree about what Stuart was saying.....I wanted to say that but couldn't think of a good way to do it. You did it for me. Thanks. I felt rather rude disagreeing with him. I've been to Duncan's blog through Chloe. It's beautiful, with birds, and a great pic of his grandson. He lives near some lovely mountains......near Chloe. Worth a visit!

Jude said...[Reply]

Re American Independence Day and Australia Day, there is the connection that, if the first hadn't happened, perhaps neither would have the other. I'm talking of the first steps towards settling Australia - that is it might not have happened quite so soon!

kylieps said...[Reply]

I don't remember ever celebrating Australia day while we were over there- did we do anything for it?

judypatooote said...[Reply]

I don't know much about Australia but I know it's beautiful, because Alice has the pictures to prove it.... I have lots of blogger friends that are Aussies......and there so darn crafty, I just want to move on over Thanks for the history lesson....

Katie Liz said...[Reply]

Thanks for researching that one Mum! And go easy on Stuart. Poor guy. It's the same bloody idea!

Kerri said...[Reply]

Thank you all for stopping in! Jude, you're absolutely right. Good point!
Kylie, yes we did...we took the day off :)
Judy, you should go for a visit. It's a fantastic place!
Kathy, no swearing on my blog young lady or I'll take the stick to you :)You're right, it IS the same idea....sorry Stuart!!!

Stuart said...[Reply]

I'm glad I have been the centre of such a raging debate. Bring it on. Yes Alice is correct. That is how I equated the two days.

Kerri - feel free to use the flag it wasn't mine anyway. If I've borrowed a picture from somewhere you can click on it and it will take you to the original site rather than me having to cite every reference. If they're my own pics they don't lead anywhere.

Great post and comments.