Rugby officials wrong on Cook Cup

Rugby officials got it wrong when they renamed the 25-year-old Cook Cup ahead of this year’s Australia-England series.

The new Ella-Mobbs trophy honours popular and distinguished players from both nations but snubs Captain James Cook and his remarkable achievements.

Painting by E. Phillips Fox depicting the landing of James Cook at Botany Bay on 29 April 1770.

The two unions have turned their backs on the great man who forged enduring ties between Australia and the United Kingdom.

Although some protesters have tried to portray Cook as a coloniser, he was an explorer, navigator and cartographer who mapped the east coast of Australia for the first time.

He claimed the land for the British Crown but this meant nothing in practical terms without permanent settlement and he didn’t attack or dispossess Aborigines.

We should be lauding him as a hero and celebrating his success.

It’s a sad day when a famous navigator is sidelined for being wrongly portrayed as politically incorrect.

It’s not Cook who’s divisive, it’s the people who rewrite history to suit their own narrative.

Sadly, Australian history is not properly taught in schools. Even former Cabinet Minister Bridget McKenzie got it wrong when she mistakenly said Cook was associated with the First Fleet.

Cook was a brave explorer. It’s through his efforts that Australia became a British country instead of Dutch or French.

Any speculation about alternative history would suggest a worse outcome for Aborigines and non-European races if Cook’s exploration in 1770 hadn’t paved the way for what followed 18 years later.

The naming of the Cook Cup in his honour was an inspired choice given he was the first link between Australia and England.

It’s an insult to Cook’s memory that his name has now been dumped.

There are people in our history we should repudiate but Cook isn’t one of them.

Michael Gorey

A traveller through the universe. Not everyone who wanders is lost.

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