There is a push for the Melbourne Cup to become a National Holiday which occurs every year around the time that the great race is run. It seems natural to me that this should be given serious consideration. It has always been an important day on my calendar and one that is set aside by most people in my home town of Perth as a mandatory ‘sick day’ if you are not lucky enough to have a boss that throws a work party!Since moving to Darwin and being put in charge of a sizeable team it has always been the case that we close the doors and celebrate with traditional chicken, potato salad and a few bubblies……yesterday was no exception. I am however concerned that the passion of the great race and heritage it represents may be losing it’s lustre.
The Melbourne Cup is something that is the birthright of all Australians to enjoy and somewhere you have carte blanche to over indulge. When you go to Flemington you will meet Australians and internationals from all corners of the globe converging on hallowed ground to celebrate this amazing event. There will be women dressed in evening gowns and men dressed in kilts competing in fashion parades and all having an outrageous time. Melburnians throw parties all over the city and stagger back to their abodes knowing tomorrow will not be a good day but today was sensational. They all seem to understand that you must awaken with a hangover the next day or sometime during the night!
So you can imagine my concern when I watched the activities in Darwin yesterday that did not reflect fully the enjoyment required by this race which is steeped in tradition……By 6pm the party was over and there were only 4 people shoeless on the couches? Admittedly some had slunk home with the potential to fulfil their Australian obligation however I watched others refuse alcoholic libation without submitting a medical certificate. I was asked by 3 members of my staff ‘What is a Sweep Stakes?’ and a close friend admitted that she had never been to the track (any track) for the day!!!!What is this world coming to? We need to immediately recognise Melbourne Cup day as a National public holiday and get Australia back on track!! What have we become if we do not observe the right to gamble, party and abuse your liver with absolute impunity on one day of the year….AS A NATION?Reclaim your birthright Australians and join me in declaring Melbourne Cup Day a day of celebration as a National Public Holiday!