[Editor: This article, about Australia Day, was published in The Armidale Express (Armidale, NSW), 26 January 1953.]
In the calendar of time, the span of 165 years is of almost minute duration.
Yet, since Captain Arthur Phillip landed on Sydney Cove Australia has grown to nationhood.
Throughout this great Continent we have built a network of roads and railways, and bridged them with structures that have stood the test of time and tempest.
We have produced world famous figures in the realms of music, art and drama.
Education is free to all, and not a child of promise is denied the opportunity of proceeding to our universities, and moving into the elite circles of learning across the seas.
Since the first shipment of sheep reached this land, we have become the greatest producer of wool in the world, while peoples of all nations look to us to become the granary for their vastly increasing population.
In scientific research, Australia is knocking at the portals of the great. The establishment of the National University, headed by one of the leading physicists of the century, coupled with our discoveries of uranium fields, has focussed the attention of the whole scientific world on Australia.
Leaders of the Labour Movement have won for the workers the most generous conditions pertaining to any labour force in any country. And, this has been achieved without violence.
In two world wars, our gallant sailors, soldiers and airmen fought and died, not only for the safety of their homeland, but in defence of the inherent rights of free men everywhere. We lost the flower of our nationhood in those two holocausts, but we have won through.
Perhaps, our greatest accomplishment is that in turbulent times we have been able to retain our emotional stability, and so retained our democratic form of government. The crisis in the fever of totalitarianism has passed, and by common consent of scholars in all schools of political thought, we hold to the curricula that will keep us sane and sensible and just.
We have our blemishes as a nation, but they serve only to high-light Australia’s achievements. So long as we are conscious of our faults there is no sin in keeping them in the background, because perfection does not exist.
The 165 years that have passed since Captain Phillip landed have been fruitful beyond the dreams of the founders. Never speak disparagingly of Australia. She is worth our love and esteem. She is worth the best we can give her.
The Armidale Express (Armidale, NSW), 26 January 1953, p. 6
Captain Phillip = Arthur Phillip (1738-1814), an officer of the British Royal Navy, commander of the First Fleet, and the first Governor of New South Wales (1788-1792); he was born in London (England) in 1738, and died in Bath (Somerset, England) in 1814
See: 1) B. H. Fletcher, “Phillip, Arthur (1738–1814)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography
2) “Arthur Phillip”, Wikipedia
curricula = plural of “curriculum” (the subjects comprising a course of study which is taught in a school, college, or university; a list of such courses; the combined aggregate of such courses; a plan or programme of activities)
granary = a building, repository, storeroom, or storage facility which is used for storing grain or animal feed; a fertile region or country which produces large quantities of grain