Sep 13 2017

A Memory

I’ve been attending my children’s school assembly most weeks and they start by singing the national anthem “Advance Australia Fair“.  Standing up and singing with the kids has brought back quite a vivid memory I have of the day Dad went to vote for what the new Australian national anthem would be.

It was 1977, there was a referendum with a plebiscite about the national anthem – I have since found that the date was 21st May, 1977.  I was 9yo, Michael 7yo and I remember walking in with Dad at Irymple and him explaining what he was doing.  It’s so vivid a memory, that I can see the red bricks of the building, remember the beautifully green manicured lawns and all the people that were milling around out the front.

Waltzing Matilda was also a choice and my favourite choice at that particular point for the anthem, and I remember being a little disappointed that it was defeated.  But for the life of me, I can’t remember how Dad voted or if he even told us what he voted for.  In a way, I hope it was Advance Australia Fair especially because of the anthem’s second verse that really is so significant to us given we’re the grandchildren of Italian immigrants (on one side anyway).  Migrants who left their country in 1938 for a better life and found it here working hard in Australia.


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