Today is a public holiday in Western Australia, although of course to we two pensioners it doesn't make that much difference as everyday is more or less a holiday but when we both worked these public holidays were important to us. Although Foundation is actually 1 June it is always celebrated on the first Monday in that month and not on the actual day itself.
What is Foundation Day? It marks a significant day in the history of Western Australia for it was on 1 June in 1829 that this State's first European settlers, men women and children, completed their long sea journey from Britain to the Swan River Colony. They arrived on board the Parmelia which was captained by James Stirling. They were having their first view of the mainland of W.A., and although it was a wintry day which prevented the travellers from stepping ashore until some time later, Foundation Day has always been recognised as 1 June.
Of course Foundation Day also celebrates the meeting of two very different cultures, one that had evolved from this land over tens of thousands of years and another brought to this land from across the waters. These were free settlers seeking a new promised land which they could call home. Since that time these two cultures have been joined by further arrivals from all corners of the world and each group contributes elements of its rich heritage which helps to forge our unique, vibrant Western Australian identity and culture.
This is a day we pay tribute to all those who came before us and to the citizens of today who are building our future. It should be a day of significance and pride to all who call Western Australia home.
The above writing is not all my own work but some of it is quoted from the "Celebrate WA" website where it is explained far better than I could do so so thanks to that site for its help.
I have been thinking about our State today and being an oldie I often go back to the days when we were known as the "Cinderella State", doing a lot of the hard work but not being regarded as being very important, just like Cinderella in the fairy story who was badly treated by her ugly sisters etc.
I'm not entirely sure that our eastern state cousins don't often still regard as as Cinderella. Our State is rich in mineral resources and we therefore do contribute much to the coffers of the country as a whole. It is quite controversial at present with our Federal Government wanting to bring in a big tax on mining companies who naturally objec to the idea.
It is not for me to even begin to understand politics or want to debate right or wrong but I heard the word 'secession' again recently on the radio and it reminded me that Western Australians, many years ago, had a referendum about whether or not whether we should secede from the Commonwealth and the outcome was an overwhelming YES. For some reason this was one referendum that was not upheld but I know there are many out there who still think it should have been followed through.
I merely mention the above as I think it is an interesting and controversial subject and wonder if there are any others that have thoughts on the matter.
To everyone in Western Australia....I hope you are enjoying the Foundation Day holiday and to anyone else who might read this blog, I hope you are also having a wonderful day.