On January 26, 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and became its first Governor.
The fledging colony soon began to celebrate the anniversary of this date. Manning Clarke notes that in 1808 the “anniversary of the foundation of the colony” was observed in the traditional manner with “drinking and merriment” (Source).
Drinking and merriment! That sounds about right to me. We Australian’s like our booze. Today is National Australia Day, the day we celebrate the first steps towards the creation of our fine nation (even though we only actually achieved federation in 1901). As I’m writing this the day in full swing over in Australia itself. I got a phone call from Fragma at 2am his time, where only two hours into Australia day he was pissed as a fart and partying hard. Just the way to do it I think.
The traditional way to celebrate Australia Day for me has been to hang out at someone’s house, with numerous cartons of beer, or kegs if someone has been organised enough to get them, and drink the day away, cooking meat on the BBQ and listening to Triple J’s hottest 100 on the radio. I really miss that.
I’m not usually very patriotic, I’m certainly not as jingoistic as a lot of people I met while travelling around. I am proud to be Australian though. I would never try to pretend Im from somewhere else, and I dislike it incredibly when people mistake me for a South African or New Zealander. We antipodeans share a common bond, but were not that alike! I often miss my sunburnt land, and wouldnt have wanted to be born anywhere else. I like Australians on a whole, we are an extremely friendly bunch, honest, hard working, and laid back. We enjoy what our country has to offer us, the weather, the sun, the sand. We love our sports, our drink, our women ^_^
Ive decided to stay over here in the UK. I dont have any plans to return back to Australia any time soon. This doesnt mean I dont love my country; its just that sometimes you are drawn away. I know where my home is.
Written while listening to Peter Allen’s I Still Call Australia Home. I think the following verse is particularly apt.
I’m always travelin’
And I love bein’ free
So I keep leavin’ the sun and the sea
But my heart lies waiting over the foam
I still call Australia home.