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Melbourne Cup Public Holiday

It’s now official, Melbourne Cup Day is a public holiday in Canberra, and has been named “Family and Community Day”.

Needless to say I am bitterly disappointed by this, and will be writing a letter to the MLA responsible for this travesty, Andrew Barr, to express my disappointment.

I’m not going to repeat my reasons for being disappointed about this right now, but I made them very clear in an editorial I wrote in April [1].


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#1 Comment By davky On July 30, 2007 @ 11:46 am

I disagree, Sambo. Why not enjoy an extra day off?
If people really value the socialising at work that much, they will find an alternative to do away from work.

Nothing peeves me more than attending work on a Public Holiday and hanging around doing absolutely nothing while cackling women sashay about the place guffawing. Seeing as I was doing nothing at work anyway, I’d rather stay at home.

Admittedly, I think ‘Family and Community Day’ is a bit w*nky. But I wonder if complaining about this is a case of biting the hand that feeds us?

#2 Comment By Samuel On July 30, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

Apart from the fact that I like the spirit of Melbourne Cup Day the way it was, I also think that having an extra holiday in November will further throw out the balance of holidays. It would be much better to have the holiday in July or August, as that would even up the balance a bit, and not interfere with what is otherwise a highlight of the workplace calendar.

Also, having a public holiday on Melbourne Cup day makes it that little bit harder for those that choose to ignore the Melbourne Cup, to do so.

#3 Comment By Clayton Northcutt On July 30, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

There’s a balance to public holidays?

#4 Comment By Pen 15 On July 30, 2007 @ 6:17 pm

Do I read your April column right?

You would rather have a day of friendly team-bonding at work, than have the day off altogether? Davky’s right – if work colleagues want to team-bond, they can still do it…just not at work (which, in my experience, leads to even better bonding!)

And as for parents not being able to do anything with friends becasue they have to look after the kids…simple solution is to take the kids with them and enjoy activities with friends as a family.

I would hate to see where you work, Sam, if Melbourne Cup Day is a highlight of the calendar!

#5 Comment By Samuel On July 30, 2007 @ 6:29 pm

Pen, most days for me are enjoyable at work, however Melbourne Cup day tends to have a more jubilant feel to it than most days. An awful lot of work still gets done, right through the morning and for most of the afternoon.

Having the holiday works well in Melbourne because people can go to Flemington, and it is their race day…having a holiday here for the Melbourne Cup is just ridiculous.

You have misunderstood my comments about kids. You would have to agree that currently on Melbourne Cup day adults have their own festivities which, in many cases, you wouldn’t want to involve children. It is unfair on parents to have to modify these festivities for the children. I’m not saying they can’t have fun, just that it will be different fun.

Clayton, no, and that’s the problem. Read my editorial from April. Adding Melbourne Cup day as a public holiday further concentrates the public holidays at one end of the year, whilst having none in late June, or July, August or September. A late July or early to mid August holiday would even things up and be much more useful.

#6 Comment By Tony On July 30, 2007 @ 10:19 pm

I’m listening to Bocky this year and see what tips he gives out.
I think Stuart is pretty good at picking sometimes, you just can’t hold him to it all the time, pity though.
I only really bet on cup day, don’t fancy the nags much anytime else.
Mind you if I was shorter and only came up to a dogs backside, oh never mind, no sense wishing.
I’m just too tall to be a jockey.

#7 Comment By Pen 15 On July 31, 2007 @ 12:04 am

What sort of fun are you thinking, Sam?

Oh, thats right. You live in Canberra. Theres all sorts of parent-only fun to be had there. There and Darwin. And maybe in other cities but available only by mail-order-and-delivered-in-plain-wrapper fun. Gotcha. Definitely no kiddies there 😉

In my workplace, having the Melbourne Cup holiday marks the start of the silly season. From Cup day onwards, everyone is in a much better mood. having the holiday earlier would remove that beginning-of-the-summer feel.

#8 Comment By davky On July 31, 2007 @ 6:29 am

I don’t see a concentration of public holidays as a problem. It’s fun when Easter and ANZAC Day are very close – feels like a three week holiday, instead of just three days off. The extended summer public holidays make it like a ‘silly season’, as The Pen says. Similarly, it would not bother me if we had an extra public holiday in August or September.

I guess the impact to business would be less on Melbourne Cup Day due to the hours lost anyway, plus many businesses put on an afternoon tea of some variety. Pubs and clubs would benefit as there would be more people likely to congregate there.

I dunno, Sambo, but I think your argument seems like a child crying because it was given a strawberry ice cream instead of a chocolate one!

#9 Comment By Samuel On July 31, 2007 @ 8:30 am

The bottom line is that I don’t want a public holiday on Melbourne Cup day. Canberra (and Sydney, Gundagai, Fremantle…everywhere that isn’t Melbourne) had a good and enjoyable tradition on Melbourne Cup day. The fact that the majority of Canberrans (according to Andrew Barr’s statistics…I accept that I’m in the minority on this one) support a public holiday on Melbourne Cup day disappoints me.

I will be looking forward to voluntarily working on Melbourne Cup day.

#10 Comment By davky On July 31, 2007 @ 9:13 am

I like stubborness. I think it is sexy 😀

#11 Comment By Pen 15 On July 31, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

Embrace the holiday, Sam. Embrace it and you will learn to love it.

#12 Comment By Samuel On July 31, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

No thanks, I’ll be putting my hand up to work on that day.

#13 Comment By Tony On August 3, 2007 @ 12:28 am

Can someone please tell me why we still have the Queens Birthday public holiday?
Freddy Mercury has been dead for well over a decade.

#14 Comment By Clayton Northcutt On August 6, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

So why don’t you want a holiday Samuel?