The Port Fairy Gazette has a lot of Byaduk news and I just love this treasure from May 31, 1915. Australia celebrated Empire Day on May 24 from 1905. School children participated in patriotic singing and speeches and flags adorned buildings. The children had a holiday from school in the afternoon. May 24 was also Cracker Night and in the evening people would gather around bonfires and let off fireworks.
Empire Day 1915 saw ggg grandfather James Harman visit the Byaduk State School and address the children. He then sang “Just Before the Battle, Mother” and I’m pleased to see he “delighted” the children. At age 85, he was only a year away from his passing.
“Just Before the Battle, Mother” was an American civil war song but given it was in the midst of WW1, it was apt. If you have not heard the song before, click on the play button below to hear a rendition courtesy of Soundcloud and P. Murray.