Saturday, September 12, 2009

Melbourne Day '09

The city of Melbourne celebrated its 174th birthday two weeks ago, although not a lot of people know about this event.

All of it started on 30th August 1835 when a small band of pioneers from the Enterprize schooner landed on the north bank of the Yarra and were ready to start a new life in this new land.

Led by Captain John Lancey, the Enterprize’s passengers included Launceston builder George Evans, carpenters William Jackson and Robert Hay Marr, ploughman Charles Wise, blacksmith JamesGilbert and his wife Mary.They were a small group with a big vision.

Today, the spot where they have made their mark is called Enterprize Park which is located at the corner of Williams and Flinders Street. And this is where the Melbourne Day event would be held each year.

Although they are in their golden years, I reckon these ex-servicemen eagerly serve the Melbourne Day ceremony annually, in all their vibrant uniforms and classic rifles.

After the introductory speech, there was an Aboriginal performance to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land : the Kulin nation, which includes the Wurundjeri, Booonerwrung, Taungurong, Djajawarrung and Wathaurung people.

They explained their history, and gave a short dance.

Whilst the speeches went on, I took the liberty to snap some pictures of the crowds.

The cup cakes look too tempting; I had to snap a shot of them before they're all gone.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and the captain of the Enterprize pay attention to the message from Tasmania being read out by a splendid gentleman dressed in red.

After that, the Lord Mayor raised the flag of Melbourne...

... followed by a barrage of gunfire from the rifles.

Oh no.. that was not the end. The cannon had to be fired...

... and it was done promptly. Boy was it loud!

The crowds helped themselves to the yummy cupcakes after the cannon was fired... (oh dang.. I'm getting hungry as I type this)

As the jazz performance continued...

...some formal group shots were taken.

I think he didn't realise I was taking his picture, but oh well, no worries.

Do make it to next year's Melbourne Day if possible. Its a great way to get accustomed with this splendid city we reside in.




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