//
you're reading...
Australian History

On This Day In Australia: In 1918, Australia House opened in London


Australia House in 1919

On 3 August 1918, Australia House opened in London. Australia House is the home of Australia in the UK.

This extraordinary building has been the location of the Australian High Commission for over one hundred years. It is the oldest continually-occupied diplomatic building in London and it was the first major public building of the new Commonwealth of Australia.

The day King George V opened Australia House, on 3rd August 1918, the Exhibition Hall, was filled with distinguished guests to mark the significance of the occasion. Taking pride of place among the leading citizens of the land were some 300 wounded Australian servicemen, specially invited by the High Commissioner, Andrew Fisher. In thanking the King, Fisher said:

“It is the earnest wish of the Commonwealth Government that Australia House may be a tangible sign to the people of the United Kingdom that their interests and those of their kinfolk in the great Commonwealth overseas are common alike in peace and in war.”

And so, over this past century, has it proved to be.

Australia House is an enduring symbol of that kinship.

And it is much more besides.

It is a statement of Australia’s confidence in its own future. It is an architectural jewel, London’s finest example of the belle époque style which flourished here briefly in that short span of time between the end of the Gothic revival and the blight of modernism. It is – has always been – a focus of the Australian community in London, for whom, over many generations, it has been a place to meet friends, to transact business, to catch up with news, to vote, to observe national occasions; often to celebrate, sometimes mourn.

Here, Australians have rejoiced in the success of our cricketers, our footballers, and our tennis players; toasted the virtuosity of our musicians, our singers and our artists; savoured the delights of our chefs and our vignerons; chuckled at the wit of our comedians. In this Exhibition Hall, we have enjoyed, and shared with the rest of London, the very best that Australia has to offer.

The destinies of our two nations may have diverged over these past hundred years, but our shared interests, our common values, the crimson threads of kinship that bind us, remain as strong as they have ever been. The United Kingdom can be absolutely certain: the bonds between our two peoples will remain as solid as Australia House itself – a monument to their permanence and their endurance.

Source: Australian High Commission, United Kingdom

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,050 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Cadence Column: Asia, January 17, 2022

Cadence Column: Asia, January 17, 2022

China is illegal. The US Department of State even says so. France even reports as such. This won’t exactly improve friendly relations across the Pacific. It’s actually a much larger step to an all out conflict. Just over a year ago, November 2020, Western allies declared that China’s 1984 treaty with Britain, the basis for […]

India’s offensive against China should be in the grey zone 

India’s offensive against China should be in the grey zone 

Grey zone is not a fixed concept but a hypothetical place between peace and war. While I was writing this article, a never heard of development was taking place in the Indian state of Punjab. The Indian Prime Minister was stuck on a bridge for 20 minutes since the highway was blocked by the protesters. […]

Cadence Column: Asia, January 10, 2022

Cadence Column: Asia, January 10, 2022

Lithuania has become the “Taiwan of Europe”. Since WWII, Americans never again struggled with the concept that a problem abroad is a problem at home. This is how we Americans can vote to interfere around the world that we know so little about. We think every squeal from another continent indicates a personal assault on […]

Is China ready to host the Winter Olympics?

Is China ready to host the Winter Olympics?

Chinese officials have promised that the 2022 Winter Olympics — to be held Feb. 4 to 20 and followed by the Paralympics March 4-13 — will be a “safe, streamlined and splendid” global event. But that won’t be easy. With less than four weeks to go, China is struggling to enforce its strict zero-covid policy […]

Crystal Gazing 2022: India and The World 

Crystal Gazing 2022: India and The World 

If we thought 2019 and 2020 presented uncertainties then 2022 is here to surprise all of us. It could be remembered as one of the most complex, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous years in the recent past. COVID-19, oil crossing $100/barrel, Iran-US nuclear talks, Iran-Israel tension, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cryptocurrency, and militarization of outer […]

Japan looks west to guard against a rising China

Japan looks west to guard against a rising China

Japan signed on Thursday a new security treaty with Australia, a fellow middle power that is similarly aligning against an increasingly assertive China. The blandly-branded Reciprocal Access Agreement, which was signed virtually by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, marks the conclusion of a process that started in 2014, when […]

Cadence Column: Asia, January 3, 2022

Cadence Column: Asia, January 3, 2022

Taiwan is on the rise. With chip shortages, stock is booming. You know how graphics cards are astronomically high? A lot of that money is going into Taiwan. Meanwhile, China found an excuse to order a real estate developer to demolish 39 freshly, new-built “luxury apartments”—something about the building permit being illegal and violated zoning. […]

Cadence Column: Asia, December 27, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, December 27, 2021

Japan is on the scene in the Pacific. While Japanese athletes will attend the Olympics, Japanese officials will not. China doesn’t want Japan to “politicize” the games. But, consider 2008, the one-hour opening ceremony about nothing but China’s history, with President Xi marching in to a one-world dream at the end. For Beijing, hosting the […]

Cadence Column: Asia, December 20, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, December 20, 2021

The US is hitting China hard over treatment of Uyghurs. Nearly all imports from Xinjiang will be banned. At the same time, the US bolsters the call to bolster Taiwan’s military defense. However, Taiwan has the seeds of the same tyranny; it just doesn’t materialize into anything alarming because Taiwan remains small. The most obvious […]

When India goes to war with China 

When India goes to war with China 

It is an open secret that China challenges everything India sets its eyes on, be it cooperation with Quad partners (the United States, Australia, Japan), international organizations like United Nations, WHO, or designating a terrorist organization. India, a Quad member and a close ally of the United States, has become the biggest eyesore for China. […]

%d bloggers like this: