Sunday, 8 June 2008

Republican wants to replace Queen’s Birthday Holiday with another shopping occasion
Queen’s Birthday Holiday is a sting in the flesh of the Australian republicans. Every year the second Monday in June (except Western Australia) this public holiday reminds them of the Australian Monarch. If this day would have no other purpose, this one would be enough reason to keep it in high esteem.

As could be expected, there were attacks on this oldest Australian holiday since the European settlement began. This year’s silliest suggestion came from Michael Cooney: “The first Monday in June should be a new public holiday: Kids' Day”. He published his idea in Melbourne’s Sunday Age, which misses no opportunity to attack the Queen of Australia.

Michael Cooney's opinion piece is utter nonsense. Having a Kid's Day would give shops and supermarkets just another opportunity for a sale promotion just like Mother's Day and Father's Day. The Sunday Age introduces Michael Cooney as policy director of the left-leaning think tank Per Capita. It makes me wonder, why someone with an anti-capitalist attitude should be the advocate of business’ interests. Business would certainly love to have a mid-year shopping occasion. Half way between Christmas Cooney’s “Kid’s Day” must have been on the wishlist of all supermarkets and entertainment parks.

Besides that: I don't have children, but I do have a Queen and I want to show Her proper respect. If you want to do something for children in Australia, why do you want to concentrate on ONE particular day? To forget them on 364 other days of the year?

What a pity, Michael Cooney is so unaware of the Australian connection to Queen's Birthday holiday. The day has been celebrated since 1788 when Governor Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of King George III. Until 1936 it was held on the actual birthday of the monarch but after the death of King George V, in true Aussie fashion, it was decided to keep the convenient mid-year break.

The Queen's Birthday holiday is a celebration of Australia's oldest institution — the Australian Crown — which is now recognised by the High Court as a legal entity separate from the British and Canadian Crowns and is older than our state and federal parliaments, the public service, our court system, police and armed forces.

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