To honour our national day, Australia Day, I attended a flag raising and citizenship ceremony held in a park in my local area. In typical Australian fashion, the organisers found a way to be serious and laid back at the same time.
The master of ceremonies felt it necessary to point out to the audience that the brass band who were there to play the national anthem and other patriotic songs had just one rehearsal session. Reading directly from the event program, he listed nominees for various community service awards, but managed to miss a page, and hastily had to correct his mistake.
Ever the pedant, I also also noticed typos in the program, such as the incorrect use of an apostrophe, and upper case characters where a lower case character was needed. He also fumbled his way through as he mispronounced the names of individuals and families who were receiving their Australian citizenship. There also seemed to be a lack of communication between speakers beforehand, because two of them gave a welcome to country to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, when one would have sufficed.
Nobody in the audience seemed to mind. Some of them were distracted by their smart phones, which they didn't bother to mute or turn off, or carried on talking amongst themselves as speeches were made.
In ninety minutes I was reminded of what I like about living in Australia. We are proud, yet unpretentious. I count myself blessed to live in a country that for the most part is peaceful, safe, and prosperous. I pray that it stays that way.