Hello Australians all, each of whom marches to the beat of the same drum.
At this late hour, my weary brain thought you might be offended if I did not include your name in the distribution list to receive a copy of the email my sister Margie sent me in her excitement last night.
The message is loud and clear. You are invited to sign the petition to be forwarded to the UK with a view to convincing the Brits that the 1804 chart drawn by Matthew Flinders in Mauritius should be sent ‘home’.
I am almost certain that each of you marches to the beat of the same drum that I do and believes that the birth certificate of Australia should be relocated to its rightful home, Parliament House Canberra by some time in July 2014.
I invite you to act accordingly.
Dear family and friends (including new friends)
You may recall that back in 2004 I joined my brother in London after he had been to Taunton to photograph the original 1804 map drawn by Matthew Flinders while incarcerated at Mauritius. It has long been Bill’s dream for the map to be accepted by the Australian government and brought out of obscurity in a cabinet drawer in Taunton to lodge in Parliament House in Canberra, or the National Library. There is no doubt that Matthew Flinders was responsible for this great country being named Australia, and the map is proof. Without his input we might well have been called New Hollanders, or New South Wales folk!
Today I witnessed a small ceremony conducted at the foot of the Matthew Flinders statue that stands outside St Paul’s Cathedral diagonally opposite Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, for the launch of a campaign to have the 1804 map brought out of its hiding place to its natural home – Australia.
The ceremony introduced by Australia’s champion Town Crier and was led by the federal member for Flinders, Greg Hunt, with the Lord Mayor of Melbourne and other dignatories in attendance. It was good to hear Bill mentioned as the originator of this project. Two school leaders from a Flinders secondary school read the letter they had written that will be sent to the Prime Minister of Britain. On the whole I reckon everything that needed to be said was said and Bill should be satisfied with it. I was surprised to be mentioned as his representative, not just the observer I thought I was.
Now for the campaign. Can I ask that you seriously consider adding your name to the petition that is being prepared by going to the following website:
It’s easy. Reportage of today’s event can be found by googling matthew flinders australia map, and look down for two headings – First Australia map in Pom’s hands and Call to hand over birth certificate.
I’ve travelled the weary road beside or behind Bill on his journey from time to time, including a memorable ceremony in Australia House in London, and Government house in Canberra, and hope that the rest of the journey will be an easy coast downhill.
Happy Australia Day to all
Dear reader, sorry we haven’t updated you with news of our progress. A function was held at Government House on 14 November 2004 as well as a celebration in Mauritius. A full report will be posted soon.
We are expecting an important announcement from the Prime Minister in recognition of the importance of this chart, which will lead to it being on display in Parliament House for the people of Australia.
Please check back soon.
A concert to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the naming of Australia
Sydney Opera House, Concert Hall
8pm, Friday October 8, 2004
Brilliant young pianist Aaron McMillan has built a huge following amongst music-lovers not only for his acclaimed performances but also for his passionate commitment to the promotion of works by Australian composers.
By regularly performing some of the most inspiring and enjoyable Australian piano works he has introduced new audiences to the excitement of this extensive repertoire.
As ABC TV “Australian Story” viewers know, this remarkable success has been achieved against the backdrop of a life-threatening brain tumour which Aaron overcame with great courage and unyielding confidence.
In an historic event to celebrate the naming of Australia by Matthew Flinders in October 1804, Aaron McMillan will perform the first all-Australian piano music recital at the Sydney Opera House. Introduced by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, Governor of New South Wales, the program will feature music by Ross Edwards, Peter Sculthorpe, Richard Meale, Larry Sitsky, Anne Boyd and many others. These ground-breaking compositions truly capture the spirit, passion, romance and energy to be found in the best of Australian music.
The program will include Sandy Stone’s Waltz a piece by Ross Edwards, commissioned by Barry Humphries.
Join this superb young artist as he pays tribute to those composers who have made such an outstanding contribution to our musical heritage.
The one night of the year to celebrate a magnificent young performer, a treasure trove of Australian music and the naming of our great country.
Special offer for Matthew Flinders people
1,000 seats are available for $40 adult, $30 under 16 yrs (usual price $59/$39). Please book through the Box Office. The password is “Australia 200”.