I’m forever grateful that, in God’s providence, Captain Arthur Phillip chose January 26 1788 to row ashore in Sydney Cove and proclaim possession of the eastern seaboard of Australia (at that time known as New Holland) in the name of King George III of England. This isn’t because I’m a monarchist, but because his timing ensured near-perfect weather for Australia Day celebrations down the centuries.
January 26 falls right near the end of the school holidays, at the height of our summer, and is usually comfortably warm and sunny.
Today was no exception. This was my view of our glorious Sydney Harbour at 8am.
I enjoyed breakfast with friends, freshly cooked on the barbecue, a great way to start the day and as proud Aussies we hung our flag on the fence.
Colourful bunting decorated the yacht club and the sun shone as the tables on the lawn above the beach quickly filled with picnic-ing members.
One of the highlights is always the Great Ferry Boat Race where three vintage Sydney ferries, decked out in the bright colours of sponsors and laden with excited passengers, race each other down the harbour, around the island directly opposite the yacht club, and back to Circular Quay. The rivalry is all good-natured and I’m not sure anyone really cares who wins, but with the hundreds of spectator craft providing a busy escort it’s always a spectacular sight.
Helicopters flew past us later with the Naval ensign and the Australian flag, and Air Force jet planes shot past above us with a deafening roar.
On the ground, and even more thrilling for me, was a visit by Mr J, seen here after consuming his first ever chocolate Paddle Pop!
I hope I’ve given my overseas readers a sense of my Australia Day, and my pride in our country.
If you’re an Australian reader how did you spend the day? I know Rachael went to a most unusual event.
As for my family, we had a ball!