[Editor: This article, about the proposal for a Wattle Day, was published in The Sydney Stock & Station Journal (Sydney, NSW), 31 August 1909.]
A good movement.
There is an agitation going on in Sydney just now for the establishment of a purely Australian Fete Day, for the development of a national feeling. It is proposed to have a “Wattle Day” just as the English have a “Primrose Day,” and all other nations appear to have a special day of their own. We ought to have one also, and a paragraph from a circular just to hand gives the idea of how it is to be done:
“With the view of stimulating Australian National sentiment, and connecting it with love of our beautiful flora, we suggest the desirability of setting apart, throughout the Commonwealth, a day on which an Australian national flower — the Wattle Blossom — might be worn, and its display encouraged. Wattle might also be sown and planted on this day.”
That puts the whole matter in a nut-shell, and we trust there will be a hearty response to the call for organisation.
A meeting of sympathisers is to be held on Monday, August 30th at the Hall of the Royal Society (Elizabeth and Hunter Streets) at 4 o’clock, to discuss the matter, and we hope our city readers will roll up. The last paragraph in the circular tells you what to do. It is as follows:—
“If you cannot be present, and think well of the idea, perhaps you would, without committing yourself to details, see fit to write a note to one of the undersigned:—
“HANNAH E. CLUNIES-ROSS,
“AGNES L. KETTLEWELL,
“J. H. MAIDEN,
“Botanic Gardens, Sydney.”
It is proposed to have a membership fee of one shilling per annum, but that will be settled at the meeting.
The Sydney Stock & Station Journal (Sydney, NSW), 31 August 1909, p. 3
The quotations in this article have been put into blockquotes.
Agnes L. 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
annum = (Latin) year
Commonwealth = the Commonwealth of Australia; the Australian nation, federated on 1 January 1901
Hannah E. 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
in a nut-shell = to describe something in a compact, concise, or condensed format; to give a summary; to give an abridged or summarised version; to give a description in a few words; to outline the basics of a situation; to condense or summarise something (such as a description, idea, issue, or situation)
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
shilling = a coin equivalent to twelve pence (a shilling was colloquially known as a “bob”); a shilling was a unit of British-style currency used in Australia, until the decimalisation of the currency in 1966 (the decimal monetary equivalent of a shilling was ten cents)
[Editor: Changed “deisrability” to “desirability”.]
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