Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 26th ... Australia Day !!

Hello Everyone !!

I know it has once again been awhile since posting properly, but that is only because I continue to enjoy our Summer Holidays, which come to an end next Wednesday 31st January, when my Chicky goes back to school, and I start back doing a few hours here and there at the boarding cattery. (I have already had a bucket-load of typing, so in one way, my holidays are already over !!) Poor Hubby, he has already been back at work for 3 weeks !!

We have been pretty busy, doing all sorts of things ... visiting, being visited, playing, going to the beach, relaxing, shopping, sleeping in, reading, watching TV, and generally having fun !! We are well and truly prepared for school resumption next week ... all the stationery and uniforms, shoes and other paraphernalia have been purchased.

We are off tomorrow, for a long weekend (Friday is a public holiday) to our caravan at Bonnie Doon (we are truly very unoriginal ... but we really like it up there !!). Friday's public holiday is due to it being Australia Day. Here is some information on Australia Day, for those that don't know what it is all about. It is a fairly long read, but very interesting.


A Day for the People

Australia Day today is a community day. With formal ceremonies around the country - flag raising, citizenship ceremonies and the presentation of community awards - combined with local events and fun activities, the day belongs to the people.

Celebrations actively encourage participation of all Australians regardless of age, ethnicity and culture. Increasing numbers of communities are also making efforts to recognise the meaning of the day for indigenous Australians with events such as indigenous flag-raising and welcome to country ceremonies.

While the historical aspects of the day will always be acknowledged, there is now a greater awareness of the need to celebrate contemporary Australia with our diversity, remarkable achievements and bright future.

First celebrations

On January 26, 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor.

The fledging colony soon began to celebrate the anniversary of this date. Manning Clarke notes that in 1808 the "anniversary of the foundation of the colony" was observed in the traditional manner with "drinking and merriment".

The first official celebrations were held in 1818 to mark the 30th anniversary of white settlement. Governor Macquarie officiated at a thirty-gun salute during the day and a dinner ball at Government House that evening.

Foundation Day

During the early nineteenth century the anniversary was called 'Foundation Day' and was usually marked by sporting events. Horseracing was popular in the 1820s, whilst regattas became popular in the 1830s.

One of these, the Anniversary Regatta which was first held in 1836, is still held on Sydney Harbour on January 26 each year. Now called the Australia Day Regatta it is the oldest continuous regatta in the world.

A growing sense of patriotism was also being expressed in other ways. In 1824 Charles Tompson, reputed to be our first Australia-born poet, composed Wild Notes from the Lyre of a Native Minstrel.

Fifty years after Phillip landed Australia's first public holiday was announced to celebrate Foundation Day 1838. The inaugural holiday became an annual event and has continued to be held on or around January 26.

United festivities

Unlike previous years, when the celebrations were mainly private, the 1838 celebrations were a 'day for everyone' with the harbour foreshores crowded and a cracker display for the people.

By 1888, gold had been found and Australia's population had grown to nearly three million. All the colonial capitals, except Adelaide, proclaimed 'Anniversary Day' a public holiday and celebrations took place throughout the individual colonies.

The centenary was marked by ceremonies, parades, exhibitions, fireworks, banquets, church services and regattas. An estimated 50,000 people watched the Governor, Lord Carrington, unveil a statue in honour of Queen Victoria. Although the talk was of federation there was no question of the Australian people's loyalty to the mother country.

The 150th anniversary of white settlement in 1938 were marked with official ceremonies around the nation celebrating the arrival of Captain Phillip.

The show piece of the NSW celebrations was a re-enactment of Phillip's landing, complete with the deposition of a party of Aborigines. The latter group had been brought to Sydney when their city counterparts refused to participate in what they called a 'grossly theatrical re-enactment'.

Several hours before the re-enactment Aboriginal activists convened a 'Day of Mourning' conference aimed at securing citizenship and equal status for Aborigines.

Interestingly, the celebrations omitted any mention of Australia's convict roots.

Australia Day

Finally, in 1946, the Commonwealth Government, States and Territories agreed to observe one national day 'Australia Day' under one banner and on the same day.

During this period the celebrations continued to have a largely imperial feel consisting mainly of formal re-enactments of the First Fleet's landing.

The National Australia Day Council was formed in 1979, with state and territory councils and committees soon after. From their inception they have encouraged more 'grass roots' celebrations, working with local government authorities to promote the wider celebration of Australia Day.

However, the Australia Day public holiday was still held on the Monday closest to January 26 and to the broader community it was just another holiday.

In our bi-centenary year, 1988, the Australia Day public holiday was held around the nation on January 26. The highlight of the many celebrations was a re-enactment of the First Fleet's trip which departed from Portsmouth on May 13, 1987 and arrived in Australia in early January. Britain then presented the tall ship, Young Endeavour, to Australia as its bi-centennial present.

Alongside the celebrations 1988 was named a Year of Mourning for Australia's Aboriginal people, who also regarded the year as a celebration of survival. It was the most vocal indigenous presence ever felt on 26 January.

In addition to the celebrations the bi-centennial left a legacy of tangible projects. Often funded by the Federal, State and Territory Governments these diverse and useful projects are lasting monuments to the celebrations.

Since the bi-centenary Australia Day celebrations have continued to grow in number and stature with the celebrations continuing to involve a larger and broader audience.

It was not until 1994 however, that all the states and territories endorsed the celebration of Australia Day on the actual day instead of the closest Monday. United Australia Day celebrations have been held on 26 January ever since.

(Source: Australia Day Council of New South Wales)

I hope you found this information interesting, and not too long winded !!

Anyway, I would just like to wish all my fellow Australian bloggers and wonderful Australia Day Weekend, and I hope everyone else has a great weekend, too.

Catch y'all next week.

Take care,



Cecil said...

Happy Australia Day, and have a great weekend at Bonnie Doon, Meow! I hope the recent rains helped bring up the water level there.

I'm sorry I haven't visited lately. My Bloglines is busted, apparently, and isn't notifying me of new posts by my blogging buddies. :-( I sent in an email to them and they say they are working on it and hope to have it fixed soon, whenever that might be.

Have a great holiday weekend, Meow! :-)

Diane J. said...

Sorry about the name confusion, Meow. I was signed in under my sister's name. :-) That's me, Diane, above this. :-)

Meow said...

Hi Diane, I was a bit worried, not knowing who Cecil was, and wondering why I have neglected Cecil (when I couldn't even remember ever blogging with a Cecil !!!) I would have figured it out, if I had've looked here first, and seen your pic there !!
Hope they get your bloglines working again soon.
Take care, and have a good weekend.
Hugs, Meow


That was nice knowing about your Australian Day. I had a boss/friend over here few years ago. She is also Australian and I do miss her. I have never heard from her and don't know even how to get in touch.
Thanks for the visit.

Peter said...

Hi Meow,hope you enjoy your long weekend and have a good Australia Day, I guess with a bit of rain all the fires will be out in the hills now.

Connie said...

Happy Australia Day my friend!!!

Enjoy your weekend and have bunches of fun. All that sunshine sounds wonderful.

Take care,

Badoozie said...

right back atcha!

Brian said...

Have a happy holiday and enjoy the nice weather. I love seeing your pics from the caravan, no worries. :)

See you later.

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Hope you have a great holiday weekend! Best of lucky starting back to "normal" life.

Dawn said...

Hope you enjoy your weekend and Happy Austrialia Day!!! Enjoy, relax and have fun :)

♥ Dawn

meeyauw said...

Hi meow! How long a school break did you have? Do you have uniforms in public school also? And this sounds like the last big holiday before school starts . . . these are such interesting differences to my life! Have a great holiday!

Lee said...

Have a great Australia Day weekend up at Bonnie Doon, Meow. Thanks for your post. :)

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Happy Australia Day (even though it is still only the 25th here) I found this little poem some time ago and believe today would be the day to share it:

Australia Day Plea

I've just seen 'Pride and Prejudice', but feel no great compunction
To swan around a vicarage, with tea and cakes for luncheon;
Though buying oil from Saudis, we decline to put their robes on,
And as for German influence - do you wear lederhosen?
With tourist Nipponese folk, we oft enjoy a caper,
Yet feel no pressure to bed down in houses made of paper;
And Kiwis are our cousins, (or, something of that kidney),
But which of us would say 'Tum Funn hud fush un' chups un Sudney?"

Yet faced with things American, we quickly shout surrender;
To nothing and to no-one do we say 'return to sender'
By emulating crows outback, we'd pick, and fly, unseen;
But no! We down the bloody lot, and, wiping our plates clean,
Sit and wait with mouths agape, while turning in their clay,
Are Lawson and The Banjo; they counted on the day
When Austral earth alone would generate our due reward;
Alas! When faced with 'Die Hard 9', this soon goes overboard

Before I'm tagged 'elitist' though, just let me up and say,
It's us I'm criticising, not the Good Ol' U.S.A.
Because!!! ...

...If a drive-in church for rattlesnakes works well for Amarillo,
And the governor of Texas is in fact an armadillo;
If kids are nick-named 'JJ', 'PJ', 'VD' and 'BO',
And, in northern California, Martians host a TV show;
If songs like 'Mah dawg shot me', top the country music charts,
By rhinestone-studded has-beens and their silicon-happy tarts;
If 'fun' in Blackfoot, Idaho, means sitting up a pillar,
And for buying twelve Macmuffins, you can sleep with Phyllis Diller;
If every ning-nong's got a gun, and some constructing forts,
and the IQ of both parties is a sorry trail of noughts;
If, down in Mississippi, men can be their own relations,
With a fondness for farm animals that verges on Tasmanian;
If everybody's favourite food is fat, deep fried in fats,
And the Average Adult Arse-Cheek measures sixteen baseball bats;
If Grumman's Chinese Theatre has a cast of Nixon's nose,
And parts of Dolly Parton are inflatable by hose;
If a nudist team from Portland, Maine is set to climb Ben Nevis,
And a man in east Missouri grows potatoes in his crevice;
Then who are we - and who am I? - to get all snide and stroppy?
I only plead; Australia Fair! Advance - don't look and copy!

~ Evan Elpus

Puss-in-Boots said...

Hi Meow, have a great Australia Day weekend in Bonnie Doon! Sounds like such a great place to be, it's no wonder you keep going back!

Take care


DayByDay4-2Day said...

I just glad to hear your having fun. I'm trying to find fun in my life.... it's there some place. I wont give up.

Michelle said...

Happy Australia Day, enjoy your weekend :o)

Heidi said...

Happy Aussie Day and have a great weekend your fam :)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Happy Australia Day! I hope you're having fun while you're on vacation over there, and the rest of us are freezing during a nasty cold snap and working our arses off. :P

Munchkin, Missy and Monte said...

Happy Australia Day, enjoy your holiday and take lots of pictures.

Stinkypaw said...

Happy Australia Day & have a great weekend!

Jeanette said...

HI Meow. Great Post
Have Happy Australia day and weekend at Bonnie Doon dont forget to throw extra snag on the Barbie.
Take care keep smiling ((((Hugs))))

Merle said...

Hi Meow ~~ I hope you are enjoying
the SERENITY up at Bonnie Doon.
That was a great post, you wen to a lot of trouble to get the info for us. Hope you enjoyed Australia Day
and 2 more days to go. Have a wonderful time Connie. Love, Merle.

PEA said...

Happy Australia Day dear Meow!! I very much enjoyed reading all about this special day of yours:-) Hope you get to relax this long weekend, you deserve it after being so busy these last few weeks!! Hugs xox

The Lazy Iguana said...

Cool! Well have a great Australia Day, with the usual festivness and stuff. Or should I say I hope you HAD a great Australia Day. It is January 26 here, but you are in the future due to some sort of random International Date Line or some such foolishness. So it is tomorrow over there.

Or maybe I am one day in the past? Who knows. At any rate, since you are in the future please forward me today's (for you) winning Florida Lottery numbers.

LZ Blogger said...

Even after my time in Australia... I never knew any of this! Thanks for the history! AND HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY! ~ jb///

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY to all my friends down under.


Debbie said...

Happy Australian Day Meow!

Have a great time at Bonnie Doon! It always sounds like a great place to me!

Gattina said...

I have read from top to bottom and thank you for this interesting post ! I always have loved history of countries and continents and Australia has always been so interesting to me, that I have read a lot of books about the country and also of the first settlers. There are so many intriguing stories !
There also were quite a lot of people from Belgium and Germany (like your parents) who immigrated end 60th. The son of a collegue went off to Australia in 1970 and joined there a Hiepie group. His mother didn't know were in the country he had disappeared and at that time you couldn't even call or easily go over there. It really was terrible for her.
BTW I managed to change the top of my template as you will see.
Enjoy the beach lucky girl !

True Blue Guy said...

Happy Australia Day to you ! - Suprising, it falls on the same day as India's Republic Day - The day India's constitution came into effect in 1950 and India became soverign !

I hope you are having a good last few days of vacation


Raggedy said...

I am late. I am catching up on my blog reading now.
A belated Happy Aussie Day!
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Dick said...

I hope you enjoyed your holiday weekend. Here in the northwest part of Washington State we are moving toward spring and my world is looking up for a change. We visited the Good Kitty, Bad Kitty store in La Conner today. I'll probably post a couple of photos from that visit in the next few days. They are not with the new camera- I am still reading the books about it. But the little Sony does a pretty good job.

LittleJen said...

Happy Australia Day, hope you had a great weekend.

2 more sleeps, but who is counting still school.

Belizegial said...


A very interesting read about Australia Day. It seems that we do share some similarities - i.e we both have harbour regatta days during and around our national days. In our country's history, we also had British governors who were loyal to the reigning Queen of the British commonwealth.

When Belize day comes around, I will post some more on this.

Hope y'all are having a fun weekend :)


Bossy♥'s YOU said...

man, hearing u talk about summer makes me was negative 4 here yesterday, and in USA land, thats damn cold..hehe

Alice said...

Interesting and informative to say the least, Meow.

Thanks for sharing it and I hope that you continue to have a blast for the remainder of the summer holidays.




Tammy said...

Hi Meow! :)
I know it's been awhile since I was last here, but wanted to drop by and say hello!
So fun to read about Australia Day! Enjoy the very last part of your summer!

Clare said...

Belated Happy Australia Day Meow and hope you had a lovely weekend at Bonnie Doon.

Meow said...

Hi everyone, thank you so much for the wonderful Australia Day greetings. It was a fun day ... I will post about my weekend shortly. Hope your weekend was great.
Take care, Meow