Saturday, January 28, 2017

THINKING ALLOWED

There were fireworks in Perth city to celebrate Australia Day last Thursday and it was very hot (40C = 104F) so I imagine lots of folk suffered sunburn.   People congregate around the Swan River or up in Kings Park to get a vantage point to see the fireworks, arriving quite early in the morning to get a good spot.  I prefer to see fireworks on the TV as I don't enjoy the noise one little bit.


There has been a lot of talk about changing the day for our national celebrations as there are those who do not look on it as a celebration at all.  It is to celebrate white man landing on the shores of Australia and establishing a colony here with little regard for the original inhabitants of the land.   This of course is all about our eastern seaboard where white man landed in 1788.  W.A. was not settled until 1827 when a ship from the east coast arrived in Albany to plant the British flag. The English were rather afraid that the French had eyes on the west coast and needed to establish themselves before that could happen.   Perth was settled in 1829 so we are somewhat younger than the rest of the country and two years younger than Albany.

Unfortunately, over 200 years ago white man tended to look upon coloured people as savages and of little worth.  Apologies have recently been made by the government to our indigenous people but it was not this or the last generation that did these things.  Many of us are descendants of the early settlers and many more are migrants who came to Australia for a better life.  We can see the evil that took place way back then but unfortunately cannot undo any of it.  We have learned a lot over the years but it has taken a long time during which time there has been much suffering.

One story about Australia day amuses me.   The partner of my half-sister Marilyn is a Kiwi who happened to be born in New Zealand on 26th January (Australia Day).  Two years ago he was naturalised on his 60th birthday and they had a huge party to celebrate not only Australia day but also Peter being naturalised and his birthday as well.   Three wonderful reasons for a party, if one actually needs a reason.  They live in the country so unfortunately we couldn't celebrate with them.

4 comments:

  1. I can see some sense in changing the day - to one which is more truly representative of us all, whatever our colour. The current date was picked for convenience I think, but is only meaningful to those in NSW.
    Love the triple celebration idea.

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  2. The best way to watch fireworks - on the TV with the sound off. :)

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  3. I tend to think, as you do, the atrocities of long ago were not perpetrated by us, so there isn't anything we can do about it, nor should we, as individuals, apologise. The government apology some years ago is enough, although many decades earlier would have been better.
    I love a good fireworks display, but prefer to watch on TV, rather than get a position early and have to stay there all day.

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  4. By "us" I mean the current generations of English people. As a European immigrant even my ancestors had no part in it, but I still feel bad that such things happened.

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