Australia Day , Sydney's Foundation Day
Australia Day was once known as First Landing Day or Foundation Day and it wasn't until 1935 that all Australian states and territories adopted use of the term "Australia Day"
There used to be a saying that on Foundation Day half the shops were closed and on Separation Day the other half were closed but on St. Patrick's Day they were all closed.
Now what does that say about us? and I do recall the day after St. Patrick's Day is a little slow.
The earliest Foundation Day, on the 26th. January, 1788, was of course commemorating the birth of Sydney with the landing of the 11 ships, of the First Fleet carrying 750 convicts and 750 Royal Navy, merchant seamen and Provisions .
Celebrations with lots of eating and drinking amongst the emancipists was customary on this anniversary day.
Captain Matthew Flinders recommended that the continent be called Australia after he circumnavigated it in 1817.
In 1837 the Sydney Regatta was first held on Sydney Harbour and it wasn't until the following year, 1838, the 50th. anniversary of the landing, that a public holiday was declared to celebrate this jubilee.
After all what could be nicer than sitting by Sydney Harbour on a lovely sunny day? watching the boats sail by.
In Western Australia, Foundation Day was 1 June, 1829, when Western Australia's coast was first sighted from the merchant ship Parmelia. This led to the establishment of the first permanent British colony in Western Australia. Since 2012, 'Australia Day' in Western Australia, is known as Western Australia Day, recognising Aboriginal Australians as the original inhabitants of Western Australia, and held on the first Monday in June which is their original Foundation Day.
In South Australia it was on 28 December 1836 when colonial government was proclaimed also known as Proclamation Day. Which commemorates British Governor John Hindmarsh arriving at Holdfast Bay on December 28, 1836. Very few South Australians know about this!
Separation Days were celebrated by Queensland and Victoria when these states separated from New South Wales. Queensland on the 10 December 1859 and in Victoria 1 July 1851.
The only day, which people haven't mucked around with, is St. Patrick's Day; apart from the green beer, now that should be abolished, my head hurts thinking about it.
As a seventh generation Australian, descended from convicts, flogged and reluctantly shipped in chains, I'm very happy to be here and will, with gusto celebrate till all the gusto's gone out of me.
And do you remember Empire Day ?
Now that was always worth a barbie!