[Editor: This untitled article, about the creation of the Wattle Day League, and their plans for establishing Wattle Day, is an extract from the “Social Gossip” section (by “Genette”) published in The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 1 September 1909.]
[At the Royal Society’s House]
At the Royal Society’s House on Monday afternoon a most enthusiastic meeting was held, with the view of stimulating Australian national sentiment and a love for our beautiful native flora.
The glory of our golden wattle has been lately the subject of much admiring comment, and it has been suggested that this blossom be adopted as Australia’s national flower, just as England has the rose, France the fleur-de-lis, Germany the blue cornflower, and so on.
To carry the idea still further, it is also suggested that one day in the year be set apart for the wearing of the wattle throughout the Commonwealth, and that day be known as “Wattle Day.”
The wattle blooms abundantly all over Australia, whereas the waratah is only to be found in a comparatively small area. The wattle, “set in silver,” with its myriads of tiny golden balls, seems to be typical of our glorious golden sunshine, and of the hidden wealth which abounds in Australia.
Two letters were read at the meeting, in which the writers utterly condemned the proposal for the reason that it would encourage vandalism. Mr. Maiden and others, however, thought that “Wattle Day” would not only stimulate interest on all sides, but that wattle trees would be extensively grown, especially in private gardens.
Office-bearers were then appointed. Mr. J. H. Maiden was elected president, Miss Rose Scott and Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald vice-presidents, Mrs. Clunies-Ross hon. treasurer, and Mrs. Kettlewell hon. secretary. Another meeting will be held on Monday week to carry the matter a step further. The various States in the Commonwealth are to be immediately communicated with, and it is hoped before long that “Wattle Day” will be an assured fact throughout Australia.
The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (Sydney, NSW), 1 September 1909, p. 46 (column 1)
This item is about the creation of the Wattle Day League, although the group is not named as such in the article.
Commonwealth = the Commonwealth of Australia; the Australian nation, federated on 1 January 1901
J. D. Fitzgerald = John Daniel (Jack) Fitzgerald (1862-1922), compositor, trade unionist, journalist, barrister, and politician; he was born in Shellharbour (NSW) in 1862, and died in Darling Point (Sydney, NSW) in 1922
See: Bede Nairn, “Fitzgerald, John Daniel (Jack) (1862–1922)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography
fleur-de-lis = (French) “flower of the lily” (also spelt “fleur-de-lys”); a heraldic representation of a lily (used on coats of arms and other heraldic devices; especially associated with the French monarchy)
J. H. Maiden = Joseph Henry Maiden (1859-1925), botanist, public servant, and Wattle Day campaigner; he was born in St John’s Wood (London, UK) in 1859, came to Australia in 1880, and died in Turramurra (Sydney, NSW) in 1925
See: 1) Mark Lyons and C. J. Pettigrew, “Maiden, Joseph Henry (1859–1925)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography
2) “Joseph Maiden”, Wikipedia
Mrs. Clunies-Ross = Hannah Elizabeth Clunies Ross (née Tilley) (1862-1947), Wattle Day campaigner; daughter of Charles Tilley (1824-1891), wife of William John Clunies Ross (1850-1914)
See: “Wattle Day”, The Institute of Australian Culture
Mrs. Kettlewell = Agnes Louisa Kettlewell (née Storrie) (1864-1936), poet, author, journalist, and Wattle Day campaigner; she was born in Glenelg (South Australia) in 1864, and died in Woolwich (Sydney, NSW) in 1936
See: “Agnes Louisa Storrie (Kettlewell)”, The Institute of Australian Culture
Rose Scott = Rose Scott (1847-1925), women’s rights activist and trade unionist; she was born in Glendon (near Singleton, NSW) in 1847, and died in Woollahra (Sydney, NSW) in 1925
See: 1) Judith Allen, “Scott, Rose (1847–1925)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography
2) “Rose Scott”, Wikipedia
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]