Today is the 70th anniversary of the marriage of my parents, King Mepham Skyvington [1917-1978] and Enid Kathleen Walker [1918-2003]. Their marriage was celebrated on 26 January 1940 (in the middle of the period in Europe known as the phoney war) in the Anglican cathedral of Grafton (New South Wales, Australia). As for me, I was born eight months later, on 24 September 1940.
A quarter of a century ago, my grandfather Ernest William Skyvington [1891-1985] died on this same day, 26 January 1985.
In a more recent domain, today is the 16th anniversary of my purchase of the Gamone property at Choranche. On 26 January 1994, the former owner, Marcel Gauthier, sold me his place through a transaction drawn up by the notary François Guiliani at Saint-Marcellin.
Today is also, of course, the 222nd anniversary of the arrival in Sydney Harbour of the eleven vessels known as the First Fleet, under the command of Arthur Phillip. Aborigines consider that this anniversary marks the sad moment when their ancestral land was taken out of their hands forever by intruders from the other side of the planet Earth.
Let us hope that, one day, new events will replace the present anniversary.
A Republic of Australia with a new flag, a new national day, an appropriate relationship with the indigenous people of the continent, and a renewed spirit of audacity!