January 26, 2007


To all the Antipodes, and to the two Bruces I have on my blogroll--Tim Blair and Kitchen Hand--best wishes for you and your happy island/continent/nation!

It is on this date that Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Sydney Cove in 1788 and was met by a roving band of violent biker-type guys with weird punk-rock hair and sawed-off shotguns and hockey masks and high-powered junk cars and a blonde Tina Turner. After fighting them off with a stampede of kangaroos, Captain Phillip founded the colony of New South Wales, which was named after Old South Wales, which was next door to Old North Wales, both of which were named for a mythical land called Llywehitlkghxckvhhwiillrfvlvaheysdgh.

Australians celebrate the holiday much as Americans celebrate the 4th of July, with department store sales, much public drunkeness, and random celebratory gunfire. (Although due to Australia's draconian gun laws, the celebratory gunfire has been replaced with people pointing into the sky and quietly saying "kapowww.")

You can find out more about this special fair dinkum day here at the official government website, which was developed some years after 1788.

AND as I always feel compelled to do, I want to personally thank every Australian for the simple kindness extended to my father by some of your young fighting men. In 1944, a country boy from Praco, Alabama found himself in Hollandia, New Guinea in the service of the United States Navy, which is where he found out he liked those Australian fellows pretty well. As I've written about in the past, part of surviving in the area included stealing food from wherever you could (U.S. Army rations were highly prized) so it was a treat when a group of Australian soldiers invited my dad and his buddies to share some of their vittles. A goodly portion of this “food” was canned mutton. Although this seemed a big treat to the Aussie fellows, I think the fact that we never bought lamb in our house when I was growing up was the direct result of the effect of canned mutton on my dad. He still liked Australians, though.

So, thanks, Australia!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at January 26, 2007 09:13 AM

Here is an appropriate cheer that my kids learned at soccer camp:

Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!
Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!
Aussie! Oi! Aussie! Oi!
Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!

Note the Oi bits are in response to the Aussie bits and the whole thing has to be LOUD

Posted by: Sarah G. at January 26, 2007 11:02 AM

Also, I think it helps for everyone to be full of Foster's lager.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 26, 2007 11:13 AM

Have a great Australia Day!

If you feel you need to be inspired by a great Australian, then check out Sam Kekovich’s address to the nation.



Posted by: Muffy at January 29, 2007 03:01 AM

Hey! A new reader! Thanks, for dropping by Muffy, and for the link--nothing like lamb, vehicular barbecue, and bikinis!!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at January 29, 2007 12:23 PM