Thursday, January 25, 2007

Australia Day!!!

Today, January 26th is Australia Day, when we Aussies celebrate the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip, in Botany Bay in 1788 with the first fleet of settlers and convicts .

In Australia it’s a public holiday, a day for barbecues and citizenship ceremonies and concerts and in some cases, a memorial for all that we've taken from the Aborigines.

This afternoon our family attended a citizenship ceremony here in Townsville where we saw 37 Townsvillians become new Australian citizens. It’s a rather moving ceremony and each new Aussie is presented with a certificate as well an Aussie flag, a jar of Vegemite and native Australian shrubs.

After this, we attended a free Paul Kelly concert, courtesy of Townsville City Council. I love Paul Kelly. His ballads tell such wonderfully, evocative stories and his rock is really groovy, so it was a great afternoon!

And what are we having for dinner? Barbecued sausages of course!


2paw said...

Here in Tasmania, you would barely know it is Australia Day. I think it is because we are an island apart. We are separate, but together with the mainland and maybe more than a little parochial!! Sometimes I find it hard to be enthusiastic about the country we have become lately. Lucky you, Paul Kelly!!! He is a poet who sings!!!

Barb said...

That's interesting. I often wondered if Tasmanians felt separated by more than a stretch of water.
Paul Kelly writes beautiful poetry. He sang an amazing song yesterday about coming home from a day spent visiting cousins in the country. The children are asleep on the back seat, snug and tight, Mum and Dad in front. Young Paul is woken by something, maybe a song on the radio, or a truck rushing past and he sees that his Mum is crying. He can't hear what his parents are talking about, but in the glow of headlights he sees tears glistening on his father's cheek. He prays that his family will be safe. That was when he still believed.
I gasp at the power and pathos and simplicity. Pure genius.