Wattle Day

When I was in primary school in the 1960s we celebrated Wattle Day. I can’t remember if it was 1st August or 1st September, why we celebrated it, or how, nor why it is no longer part of the school curriculum. But what a joy on my walk today to come across a wild untended bush that had burst into bloom and was being busily attended by bees.

And I offer this, from the Mercury Newspaper, Hobart, Tasmania on 5 September 1919. The more things change – the more they stay the same.

“Although Wattle Day has been postponed on account of the influenza epidemic, the president, officers, and members of the Wattle League will meet at half past 10 this morning opposite the railway station, and proceed to the Domain, where the annual ceremony of placing the national flower on the soldiers’ memorial will take place. A sufficient supply of wattle blossom has been arranged for, and the whole of the memorial avenue will be dressed with the bloom.”

19 thoughts on “Wattle Day

  1. Wattle is a new one on me., Gwen. But if is also named Acacia, then I know what it is.
    PS: So sorry Wattle Day was postponed. Hopefully it will come back this year and it will be a Wattle-Wattle Day to make up for the postponement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL. Don, that postponement was in 1919 on account of the Spanish flu. Australians then were going through the same restrictions we are now. Nothing new.
      Yes, Wattle is Acacia. We have over 1000 varieties in Oz. I’m no expert, but looking at websites, I think the one I photographed is Acacia Longifolia.

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  2. Postponing Wattle Day during a global flu epidemic in 1919 – a nice little reminder for today when you see and hear the fuss being made about Covid restrictions as though pandemics are a new occurrence. At least this time round we have working vaccinations.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ah actually the vaccine story for Spanish flu is complicated as there were vaccines for bacterial infections (often secondary infections associated with flu can be bacterial), but the primary illness of that global epidemic was flu and Spanish flu was an H1N1 virus. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the scientists realised that flu was a virus and not a bacterium. So there were vaccines, but not actually against the flu. Don’t you just love medical research and the amazing advances they’ve made so we do have vaccines specifically against Covid19 and they have made them and have scaled up production and over 4 billion jabs have been given already.

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        • I’m so glad you told me that or I might have been inspired to use it in a scene in a book and got my facts all wrong!
          I know many are worried about the speed these vaccines have been produced, but my take is that research money and approval was the part that speeded up! And I suppose the big companies such as Pfizer already had work in progress since SARS, etc. Our roll out is incredibly slow, and now it’s coming against us with the current Sydney outbreak. I got my first jab as soon as my age group was entitled. Still a few weeks off my second. But within my family, even my octogenarian stepmother, there is incredible hesitancy. It’s incomprehensible to me.

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          • Actually I didn’t know either, but a long time ago I took a History of Medicine unit as part of my first degree and we did Edward Jenner and vaccines etc etc. I felt sure if there had been vaccines for the Spanish flu I would have remembered and so I Googled it and read all about it on America’s CDC pages. Naturally, I assume they are a reliable source!
            Regarding vaccine hesitancy – it has always been with us, but I think Social Media has allowed the ill-informed and unscrupulous to spread misinformation and lies. I think it is also about education. All of my daughter’s and nieces’ friends have been vaccinated as soon as they were allowed. Not surprising with my daughter as most of her friends are research scientists, but the nieces are still at uni (non scientists) and no vaccine hesitancy from their cohort either. However, my 88 year old father has always refused the flu vac even though I used to be a rep selling it, but this time he’s had it and both the Covid jabs too. It wasn’t persuasion that changed his mind, but fear of catching Covid as our numbers were so high here from early on in the pandemic. Sadly, the Twitter trolls living in their curtained basements and being socially disconnected, have found an outlet for their misanthropy with all the anti-vax, anti-mask and anti-lockdown venting. Of course, there’s also the odd bitter, rogue scientist causing havoc with their very personal crusades such as one Michael Yeadon (ex Pfizer scientist). If you’re interested here’s a link to the delightful chap – only read if you start in a good, positive mood. Keep safe.
            https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/health-coronavirus-vaccines-skeptic/

            Liked by 1 person

          • It seems an odd turnaround from a respected scientist. Perhaps the hint lies in the sentence about “he was let go from Pfizer”. Is it possible this is a misguided attempt to discredit the company through revenge? Or signs of some deeper cognitive problem? (When my cousin had a brain tumour, there was a marked shift in personality). Or is he genuinely exploring all possibilities as a “good” scientist should do?
            As a throwaway line, there would be no harm done if fertility rates declined, if it meant we bred less social media trolls and general whackos.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Rememer tons of wattle from Mt. Tamlapis ouside San Francisco, where I used to hike often! The plants are not especially good for wild fires, but the blooms are beautiful and they’re nice smelling! Some get them confused with eucalyptus. I think they’re Bay Area transplants from Australia :o) – plenty of eucalyptus there too. Just arrived on Milos Island (sigh) after a three-hour ferry ride from Athens and trying to sort myself in yet another completely new location – brain overload…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kalimera! I think Eucalyptus and Acacia were given to places such as California. Lucky you are not in Bodrum now with the bushfires they are experiencing. Milos Island should be interesting. A bit off the tourist track, fabulous!

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  4. What a mine of information you are Gwen! It is true, even though we think things are so bad now, there have been similar crises in the past. Maybe it was harder then to cope, as we do have all sorts of modern aids & knowledge to deal with.it.

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