Australia Day is coming up fast and furiously… and when I take a moment and think about what that day means for me and for other fellow Aussies, the thoughts that come into my mind are firstly:
My mother once saying to me… if you had just held off from being born till the next day, you would have been born on Australia Day and received a silver spoon! (Do they still do that… give silver spoons to babies born on Australia Day?)
Another thought is… ah… a public holiday, however, it is within the school holidays and so the advantage for school kids is not that great from that perspective… however, their parents do get the benefit of that day… plenty of BBQs coming up (and yes, we will be a part of that tradition too… )
What does this day mean to each of us here in Australia?
The tradition of having Australia Day as a national holiday on 26 January is a recent one. Not until 1935 did all the Australian states and territories use that name to mark that date. Not until 1994 did they begin to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date.
How this all started…
This tradition of noticing 26 January began early in the nineteenth century with Sydney almanacs referring to First Landing Day or Foundation Day. On this day Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Sydney Cove commanding the First Fleet which consisted of 11 convict ships from England. Captain Arthur Phillip also became the first Governor of New South Wales. By the Union Jack being flown as a British Flag this symbolised the British arrival in Australia of the eastern half of Austral that had previously claimed by Captain James Cook on 22 August in 1770.
So for me… it is a mixture of birthday celebrations and Australia Day celebrations… my BBQ Dream Team will come over and as usual perform their miracles extraordinaire… they are my two son-in-laws that man up the barbee… and what they conjure up is just plain mouth-watering! Added to that will be a chocolate birthday cake.
I am sharing my birthday with one of my daughters from this year onwards, as her birthday is on new year’s eve, and it barely gets a look at… so we from this birthday forward, will share in the celebrations of both birthdays on the one day…
There is now another aspect of Australia Day that we all can be all proud of and that is our beloved country is the home to many, many nationalities… each nationality bringing its own gifts to Australia, and let us not of course forget our own Aborigines, Indigenous Australian Peoples that were here way before the Union Jack Flag was ever first flown!
I always think of the different foods that each nationality brings to the table!!! This is always a really nice place to start!
So with our Flag flying high, our spirits uplifting, our friends over to cheer on this mighty nation, and a thirst for the drink of prosperity, we celebrate this great country proudly and joyously. You all deserve to have a wonderful day.
(Look up your local council website also for day activities for Australia Day… )
Till next week.