It’s Grand Final day today which, courtesy of a newly gazetted public holiday, is being turned into Grand Final weekend. Yesterday we went into the Grand Final parade, to imbibe a little Grand Final excitement. Although the holiday is new, the parade is not. It used to go through the city streets and I often used to nip down from my office on the corner of Swanston and Bourke to see the parade. It now goes from Treasury Buildings to the MCG and is more officially organized than it used to be. We were reassured that there would be plenty of security, but I must say that there was very little in evidence at Yarra Park where we were.
After the parade finished we walked through the Fitzroy Gardens towards the city. The trees are still bare, but the clivias are flowering and there were some beautiful blossom trees outside the Conservatory. I love Melbourne.
Good old Captain Cook’s cottage. Built in 1755 it’s technically the oldest European building in Australia, but that’s only because it was brought over brick-by-brick from England in 1934. It’s also highly doubtful that Captain Cook ever lived there because by the time his parents built it, he had embarked on his maritime career. I suppose that “dropping in to see the folks” counts. Still, with Ola Cohn’s fairy tree and the reproduction village nearby, its a little bit of ye olde England in the middle of Fitzroy Gardens.
Speaking of out and about, I was interested in a public health warning in the Age on Thursday about two people who have been diagnosed with measles. It listed the public places that they had visited between 20th and 25th September when they were most contagious. It makes interesting, if somewhat voyeuristic reading.
The places visited by the patients while they were infectious in the past week include:
- North Richmond, Southern Cross, Murrumbeena and South Yarra train stations on September 20. Wholesale Pharmacy in Balaclava and Virgin Active Gym on Collins Street, on the same day;
- North Richmond and Southern Cross stations on September 21 and 22;
- Wholesale Pharmacy Balaclava and Virgin Active Gym on September 22;
- Church Street, Victoria Street, Punt Road, Swan Street and The Posty Bar in Richmond on September 23;
- The MCG in section Q13 during the preliminary final between Richmond and GWS;
- The Carnegie area on September 24 and 25.
Trains, pharmacies, gyms, shops, bar and the MCG….an interesting list. No workplace, cinema, church. What would my list of places over a week look like? Ever the historian, I wondered how the list would vary 100 years ago, or back in Judge Willis’ time.
Anyway, that was yesterday and today’s Grand Final Day. My son’s a Richmond supporter and he’s never seen them win a final. In Richmond’s last grand final in 1982, Rolf Harris provided the entertainment and there was a streaker: two things you certainly won’t see today. Still, as a St Kilda supporter, my sympathy for Richmond’s “finals drought” is circumscribed, given that I remember their dominance back in the ’70s. But, for my son and because I still shudder at the Adelaide song after they demolished St Kilda back in the 1997 Grand Final- Go Tiges!!!