Sunday 26th January 4:30p.m
Happy Australia Day! We celebrate Australia day on January 26th as a commemoration of 'birth of our nation'. However, many Australians know little more about the history of Australia Day, other than it's a public holiday, and an excuse for a few beers. I have 'borrowed' this short extract from the Australia Day Council of Tasmania's website... The 26 January, through 200 years or more of debate and controversy, has remained the traditional Australian celebratory national day since that date in January 1788 when 'formal possession was taken of the Colony of New South Wales. On that day, Captain Arthur Phillip became Governor of the Colony, having jurisdiction over the area bounded by latitude 10 37' to latitude 43 49' south and inland to longitude 135 east'.
The fledgling colony very soon began to mark the anniversary of 26 January 1788 with formal dinners and informal celebrations. Manning Clark notes that on the 26 January 1808, the 'anniversary of the foundation of the colony' was observed in the traditional manner with 'drinking and merriment'.

For more info on the history of Australia Day click here. In sunny Brisbane, we have our own way to celebrate this special day. Every year since 1982, huge crowds gather under Brisbane's landmark Story Bridge, to take part in the traditional Australia Day cockroach racing. The event is hosted by one of Brisbane's oldest and most popular pubs, the aptly named Story Bridge Hotel.

The photos I took are veeeerrry slooowww to load. I took them with a mate's digital camera, and for some reason, the file size is huge. I have had to remove them from this main page, and have them open in a separate window. Another learning experience for yours truly! Go make yourself a cuppa while you're waiting for them to load, or have a browse down the page, to see what else has been happening lately.

Click here for the pics, which open in a separate window

The pub has kindly donated a couple of Cockroach day T-shirts *last year's T-shirts* for me to give out as prizes. Of course, as promised, Rebecca S. from Brighton recieves the first one for being the 100th person to invite me to stay a night at their home. The shirts are white, size extra large, so if you're a little person you'd better start eating now! On the back of the shirts is the Australia Day Cockroach Racing Hall of Fame, a list of all the champion cockroaches since 1982, a hallowed group featuring such legends as Cocky Dundee, Cocky Balboa, Roach Rage and Millenium Bug. Or if you don't want a shirt, I also weasled a Story Bridge Hotel stubby holder. You do know what a stubby holder is, don't you?Click here to see how you can win one of these sensational prizes!

Here's a couple of other perspectives on our beloved tradition of cockroach racing.

This UK based website chronicles the world's most unusual and bizarre events from the Delaware Pumpkin Chuckin' Competition to the ludicrous Randwick Cheese Rolling Contest.

Here's one for the kiddies-, a review of the world's most disgusting sports, including the annual Bog Snorkelling championships in Wales.

Click here to visit the official Story Bridge Hotel website.

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