What first strikes Will and Guy about Australia day, is that the Aussies have the sense to hold this day of celebration the middle of their summer. I expect that every Australia Day they set a new world record for the most 'barbies' on one day.
Naturally, Australia Day is a public holiday, people need time to prepare to celebrate during the day an let off fireworks in the evening.
January 26th, commemorates the foundation of the first British penal colony way back in 1788. The only puzzle is why Australia Day has had so many alternative names: Anniversary Day, Foundation Day and Invasion Day.
In modern times, Australia Day pulls the nation together to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian. It's the day when country reflects on what it's achieved, it's a time when each citizen can be proud of Australia. It's the day for re-committing to making the nation an even better place for the future.
Australia Day Poem
Australians are a funny lot, you'll often hear one curse, How things have started badly, and they'll probably get worse, The weathers dry, the sun's so hot it's stolen all the water, The Government has never done the things we think they oughta'.
But if we hear a tourist say his home is much more grand, They had better be prepared to make a very solid stand.
For although we Aussies may complain at what's become our lot, When someone knocks this country, we defend with all we've got.
We may criticize some teenage brat, may even wish them failure, But we stand behind them cheering when they're playing for Australia.
Because, if this is home to you, the country of your birth, Then you back the native player to beat anyone on Earth.
When the cricket bats are swinging or when someone scores a try, When a home grown horse has won the cup and made the owner cry,
When some Paralympics athlete hits the front and sets the pace, You'll hear "Aussie Aussie Aussie" as the crowd goes off their face.
And although we like to take a break in overseas locations, If you take the time to question this nomadic population,
They will tell you without blinking that wherever they may roam, The best part of the journey was the last bit, ....coming home.
For the sun was never brighter on the beach at Waikiki, Than it is on all the sandy shores Australia has to see,
The water never purer nor the air as fresh and clear, The people never friendlier than those that we have here.
If you venture to the outback where grass is scarce as snow, As you swelter you may wonder what it was that made you go,
But just look at the locals who have lived there since their birth, And I know you will not find a better class of folk on earth.
All across this wide brown country from the Cape to Hobart town, There are people who will help you when you find the chips are down,
And if someone should abuse you, and does it just because, Then that person's not Australian, and that person never was.
So when you feel disgruntled just remember this rendition, And never blame the country for the acts of politicians, Look up and count your blessings when you see our flag unfurled, And be grateful that you live in the best country in the world.
An American Goes To Oz
Randy, a Texan farmer goes to Australia for a vacation. There he meets an Glen, an Aussie farmer and gets talking. The Aussie shows off his big wheat field and the Texan says, 'Oh yeah. We have wheat fields that are at least twice as large.'
Then they walk around the ranch a little, and the Glen shows off his herd of cattle. The Randy immediately says, 'We have longhorns that are at least twice as large as your cows.'
The conversation has, meanwhile, almost died when the Texan sees a herd of kangaroos hopping through the field and so he asks, 'And what are those?'
Glen, the Aussie replies with an incredulous look, 'Don't you have any grasshoppers in Texas.'
Droll and Witty Aussie Humour About 'Phoning Heaven'
Jay, an American, was commissioned to write a book about famous churches around the world. Firstly, Jay bought a plane ticket and took a trip to Columbus, Ohio, USA, thinking that he would start by working his way across the USA from East to West.
On his first day he was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read
"$10,000 per call".
Jay was intrigued so he asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for.
The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to God.
Jay thanked the priest and went along his way.
Next stop was in Des Moines, Iowa and there at a very large cathedral, he saw the same looking golden telephone with the same sign under it. Jay wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he had seen in Columbus and he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was.
She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God.
Seriously polite, Jay thanked the nun for her help. Jay then travelled all across America, Europe, England, Japan, New Zealand.
In every church he saw the same looking golden telephone with the same "$US10,000 per call" sign under it.
Jay decided to travel to the southern hemisphere to Australia to see if they had a similar phone. He arrived at Western Australia, and again, in the first church he entered, there was the same looking golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read "40 cents per call."
Somewhat surprised, Jay asked the priest about the sign. 'Father Brian, I've travelled all over the world and I've seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I'm told that it is a direct line to Heaven, but in all of them price was $10,000 per call. Why is it so cheap here?'
Father Brian smiled and answered, ' My son, you're in Australia now - this is Heaven, so it's only a local call.'
Bruce's Funny Story
Bruce went to the police station and asked to speak to the burglar who had broken into his house the previous night.
'You'll get your chance in court,' the desk Sergeant Kelly told him. 'I have to know how he got into the house without waking my wife,'
pleaded Bruce. 'I've been trying to do that for years.'
A Funny, Quality Aussie Pun
Two kangaroo shooters, Ashton and Gus are right out in the outback when their pickup truck breaks down. They do the right thing - stay with it. However, no one comes along and so they decide to walk out.
The temperature is 40 plus C. After 2 days, they're on their last drop of radiator water when they climb a rise and find, nailed to a tree, a sign saying MERCY, POPULATION 12.
In the distance they espy a collection of ramshackle tin huts. Ashton and Gus, tuckered out, arrive. One hut is identified as a café. They enter.
A lady appears, very proper. 'Yis,' she says.
'Bring us a drink, luv. Make it long and quick.'
'We only serve one thing here.'
'What's that?' pants Gus.
'Well, bring it luv, only make it quick,' gasps Ashton.
She brings it, and she is not kidding. Pathetic little paws grip the edge of the billy [teapot in the outback] and little furry ears poke through the murky surface.
Well, kangaroo shooters are pretty tough but they're not this tough. Gus and Ashton look at each other and beg the woman to 'take it away please, and strain it.'
'What?' she says, 'The Koala Tea of Mercy is not strained.'
From William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, 1596. Portia: "The quality of mercy is not strained"