Oh hai! Happy Anniversary
Well, who would have thought. Three years ago to this very day, I started the ThinkingShift blog – and I’m still ranting and raving about this and that. At first, I thought I’d struggle to find things to blog about. But nope: that hasn’t happened. In fact, there’s too much to talk about.
Occasionally, I consider giving blogging the toss because it takes time and discipline to blog regularly; research topics; and write the (yeah, let’s face it) overly long pieces I do. I had hoped that Twitter, with its limit of 140 characters, might force me to be more concise with my posts. Alas, that has not happened. You might find that the TS blog takes a whole new direction in 2010 but I’ll save this news for a later time.
Meanwhile, January 26 is Australia Day so happy Aussie Day to all Aussie readers. Did you know that Australia Day has only be celebrated as a public holiday on January 26 since 1994 and that it wasn’t until 1935 that all States and territories started using the name “Australia Day” to mark the date? During the 19th Century, it was referred to as Foundation Day or First Landing Day. On January 26 in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain and the first governor of New South Wales, landed at Sydney Cove. And like the Americans with Thanksgiving, convicts and children of convicts, began celebrating the colony’s beginnings with an anniversary dinner or an emancipist festival.
In 1826, during the anniversary dinner, the word “Australia” started to be used during toasts to the colony. By 1837, fierce loyalty to the new continent of Australia was evident during the anniversary dinner which could only be celebrated by the Australian-born.
After Federation in January 1901, conservative Australian and State governments (fearing that federation might weaken ties to the Mother Country of Great Britain) started celebrating Empire Day on May 24, which marked the late Queen Victoria’s birthday. There was also debate over moving Foundation Day to April 29, the day Captain Cook first landed on the east coast at Botany Bay in 1770. And during World War I, July 30, 1915 became Australia Day.
By 1938 Australians were still 98% British in background and, with the support of the Prime Minister and State premiers, there was agreement for the first time over the name of the day and the timing of the celebration. And so Australia Day started to be celebrated uniformly throughout the country.