Nor did I see any coverage of the 145th anniversary of the birth of Australia's own, Henry Lawson. But I expected this. Whereas the United States lauds the likes of Walt Whitman and Mark Twain, Australians cringe at the achievements of the likes of Lawson, and Banjo Paterson.
|Left: Henry in 1881 aged 14; Right: Lawson in 1888 aged 21|
|Left: Henry in 1893 aged 26; Right: Lawson in 1910 aged 43|
Of course, all and sundry wanted the glory of a funeral, but no-one wanted to pay for one. Eventually, the Prime Minister, Billy Hughes (similar in character to Lawson), agreed to a State Funeral, and made sure another tier of government paid for it. And I quote from Colin Roderick's biography:
Lawson's funeral took place on Monday 4th September. Throughout the morning, his open casket lay in the mortuary chapel (Wood Coffill at Camperdown), where hundreds of his friends filed past to take a last look at his face. Shortly after noon, the casket was taken to St Andrew's Cathedral,. On it was placed a bunch of native roses, and around them a spray of gum leaves, a cluster of golden wattle, and bush ferns. Magnificent wreaths lined the choir stalls and the alter rails. A score of Lawson's relations had materialised from beyond the horizon of his life. He was buried in Waverley Cemetery. And thirty five years later - in a final act of sentimental irony - Bertha's ashes went into the same grave.
|This is my contribution to the Taphophile Tragics community.|