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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - January 1, 2017

Our National Day and our National Poem

We could have chosen any number of Days as our 'National Day' but TODAY is actually the REAL AUSTRALIA DAY!  On Jan1st 1901 Lord Hopetoun proclaimed the constitution in CENTENNIAL PARK …. Advance Australia Fair, written by Scotsman Peter Dodds McCormick, was sung at the celebrations. However it would not become the official national anthem until 1984.

QUESTIONS
What CLAIM to being our NATIONAL DAY do these dates have?

1 22nd August
  Cook CLAIMED 'NSW' for Britain at Possession in 1770
2 18th January
  First Fleet entered Botany Bay
3 20th January
  Entered Sydney Harbour
4 9th July
  1900 - Queen Victoria gave assent to an act to proclaim the nation of Australia

BIRTH OF A NATION  01/01/1901 -

The procession started in the Domain at 10 am and wound along an 8-km route through the streets of Sydney to Centennial Park. It was estimated that 250,000 people watched the procession, with many following it to swell the crowd at Centennial Park to 100,000.There were no crowd control barriers or any form of restraint except the presence of NSW Scottish riflemen with bayoneted rifles every 2 m along the street. There were predictions in the weeks before that violent Sydney mobs would fight for positions along the route and that innocent spectators, including children, would be crushed in the frenzy.

The procession led Lord Hopetoun to Centennial Park where, after inaugurating the new nation, he swore in the first prime minister of Australia, Sir Edmund Barton (1849-1920), and the first cabinet. The first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia was opened on 9 May 1901 in Melbourne. A 14-metre high octagonal, domed plaster pavilion was made for the ceremony. The pavilion was richly decorated with bas-relief castings of native flora and the imperial coat of arms.

An enclosure with seating for 7,000 dignitaries and guests and 300 members of the press surrounded the pavilion. Three choirs sang as part of the occasion, being a 400 voice church choir under the baton of Mr. Joseph Massesy, organist of St Andrew’s Cathedral, a choir of a thousand conducted by Mr J.A. Delaney and a choir of 10,000 public school children conducted by Herr Hugo Alpen

Our two TRUE national days are ANZAC Day and Cup Day.

When it comes to poems and songs - there is MUCH argument!
Waltzing Matilda? About a sheep thief!
Advance Australia fair?  Too British?
Our best KNOWN song world wide is  'The Wild Colonial Boy' but it's IRISH and about a criminal!

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Waratah and Wattle
Henry Lawson

Though poor and in trouble I wander alone,
With rebel cockade in my hat,
Though friends may desert me, and kindred disown,
My country will never do that!
You may sing of the Shamrock, the Thistle, the rose,
Or the three in a bunch, if you will;
But I know of a country that gathered all those,
And I love the great land where the Waratah grows.
And the Wattle-bough blooms on the hill.

Australia! Australia! so fair to behold-
While the blue sky is arching above;
The stranger should never have need to be told,
That the Wattle-bloom means that her heart is of gold.
And the Waratah's red with her love.

Australia! Australia! most beautiful name,
Most kindly and bountiful land;
I would die every death that might save her from shame,
If a black cloud should rise on the stand;
But whatever the quarrel, whoever her foes,
Let them come! Let them come when they will!
Though the struggle be grim, 'tis Australia that knows
That her children shall fight while the Waratah grows,
And the Wattle blooms out on the hill.

 

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