Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 13, 2012

Monday 12th March 2012 – Sally is on course!!

I was very pleased with the reports coming out of Turkey concerning the World Indoor Athletics Championships. Sally Pearson’s wish list of successes continued as she won the Indoor 60 metres Hurdles title in a blistering  7.73 seconds, apparently the equal 4th fastest time in history over the five hurdles that make up that distance. The World 100 metres hurdles champion, now has the Olympic Gold medal firmly in her sights, although one must always be careful to be wary of such assumptions. However, if her form and success continues as it has done over the past year or so, Sally’s confidence must be at a good level. As Pearson said herself, after winning the 60 metre event “It means I’m in fantastic shape and everything is going to go hopefully smoothly towards the Olympic Games”.

Another promising Australian performance came in the Men’s Long Jump event, which Pearson’s teammate, Henry Frayne [whose principal event is the Triple Jump] who just lost that event on a count back, claiming the Indoor Silver Medal with a leap of 8.23 metres. Frayne has been selected to compete in both events at the Olympics in the Australian athletics team. Meanwhile, we now have three Aussie girls qualified for the Olympic Marathon, always one of my favourite Olympic events – they are Jess Trengove, Benita Willis and Lisa Weightman, and their team selections will be ratified by Athletics Australia in May.  Unfortunately, Craig Mottram finished 11th of 12 starters in the final of the 3000 metres event – hoping for a better outcome from Craig who is on a bit of a comeback trail, certainly indicates the need for some considerable improvement  – his time was 7.48.23 behind the winner [Bernard Legat of the USA] in 7.41.44.  Henry Frayne apparently didn’t qualify for the Triple Jump final.

As already noted this weekend, today is a public holiday in Victoria. Today is Labour Day – officially commemorates the granting of the 8 hour working day for Australians, and recognises the contributions of workers towards the nation’s economy. I’m not sure that many Australians actually give that origin much thought these days – simply another holiday to make a long weekend!!  The occasion is recognised on different Mondays in March by the various states – for Victorians, that means the second Monday of the month.  The history of Labour Day in Australia spans over a century. It is an important annual event that remembers those who struggled and succeeded to ensure decent and fair working conditions in Australia. During the mid to late 1800s the working day was long and arduous, where some employees would work up to 12 hours a day, six days a week.  Many Australians saw the need for better working conditions and in the 1850s there was a strong push for this. On April 21, 1856, stonemasons at the University of Melbourne marched to Parliament House to push for an eight-hour working day. An agreement with employers for a 48-hour week was eventually reached and Australian workers welcomed the new eight-hour day. A victory march was held on May 12 that year and each year after that. In 1856 the new work regulations were recognized in New South Wales, followed by Queensland in 1858 and South Australia in 1873. In 1874, Tasmania joined the other states in adopting the shorter eight-hour working day. In 1879 the Victorian Government made one further step towards better conditions for employees by proclaiming a paid public holiday that year. In light of the labour movement’s successful push for an eight-hour day, a large May Day meeting was held in Melbourne in 1890. On May 1 that year a local newspaper made reference to that day as May Day.

I spent most of my ‘Public Holiday’ [which was indeed a beautiful Autumn day in this part of the world] inside [a bad choice of plans] working on my family history records. Susie drove up to Bendigo, late morning – think she has a couple of days this week at the university up there. In many ways for myself, I would have preferred to have been in Ballarat at the Begonia Festival, but had planned for a week or so of no ‘commitments’ of that sort, instead working and catching up on home commitments.  Not that all planned gets achieved, as usual!  But I did enjoy the relative quietness of home, and the general area. Even James commented this evening, when he called around, how quiet the area was, great for study purposes, which he had another year of, ahead of him. Not sure if that was a hint, but I didn’t take it!!!

I did spend an hour at the gymnasium this morning, where I discovered that my particular program was not scheduled for today, as a public holiday, but I went through the program in any case seeing as how I was there!!  This evening, spent 5 minutes ‘proof reading’ another of my son’s university assignments  – he writes and researches very well, but as I read through his material, I was glad that I don’t have that degree of study commitment anymore! I got that finished just prior to heading off to the radio station for another late night Monday show.

Meantime, the highlight of the Melbourne Moomba Festival, which finished with a burst of fireworks tonight, was record crowds in the city area this morning to witness a reinvigorated annual ‘Moomba Parade’. I didn’t see any of it of course, but it is certainly an event that brings the crowds, families in particular I guess, for a day out. As is often the case in March in Melbourne, the weather was beautiful. I only have to think back to the 2006 Commonwealth Games which were held during the second half of March, and which saw ten days of glorious Melbourne Autumn weather. I think we are expecting 2 or 3 days this week of 30 degree days!

 

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