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 :)