Australia adopted decimal currency on February 14, 1966, the year before I was born. According to Wikipedia: In 1965, the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, a monarchist, wished to name the currency the royal. Other proposed names included more exotic suggestions such as the austral, the oz, the boomer, the roo, the kanga, the emu, the digger, the kwid, the dinkum and the ming (Menzies’ nickname).
A voluntary national poll was held across Australia in May 1977 to select the National Song. I was 10 years old and obviously didn’t vote. Advance Australia Fair won the contest and later became the National Anthem. Looking at the poll results, it surprised me that Song of Australia won the ballot convincingly in South Australia (with 34.12 percent), despite being trounced elsewhere in the country.
When we moved house recently we organised with Australia Post for our mail to be redirected. The service costs $15 for one month or $28.50 for three months. It should be one of those services you order and forget; one that operates quietly and efficiently behind the scenes. That hasn’t been our experience, however. We found a pile of letters on a chance visit back to our former address. When I made a telephone enquiry to Australia Post, I was told it was probably because we hadn’t listed all possible name combinations.
History has a way of turning up unexpected treasures and I feel fortunate to have discovered one such gem accidentally today. Fortunate in the sense I now know something about an unsung South Australian sporting hero of the 19th century; sad however at his tragic end. The SANFL this weekend celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture with its inaugural Indigenous Round. It’s a travesty the name of former North Adelaide player Harry Hewitt is missing from that team and I hope an effort is made to rectify it.
I don’t get why there is a public holiday on Monday in lieu of Anzac Day falling on a Sunday. It actually seems contrary to the “Anzac spirit”, which wartime historian Charles Bean defined as: “Reckless valor in a good cause, enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat.” Although, I suppose [...]