NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
1st January, 1900 : Federation is not yet reality, but along with the Boer War and the oppressive heat it is a major talking point as the six colonies of the vast, sunburnt country of Australia greet the new century. While cyclonic winds have been lashing the coast off Townsville, the temperature today soared to 112 degrees Fahrenheit in Adelaide, 112 in Broken Hill and 104 in Melbourne.
At a crucial point in the campaign for Federation, the outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa last October – the culmination of more than a century of hostility between the Boers, descendants of the early Dutch colonists, and the British – strengthened patriotic fever. Volunteers were soon forthcoming. There are few who doubt the wisdom of the anti-Boer campaign, including, with reservations, writer Henry Lawson, who expressed his feeling thus: “Though the cause seems cronk to me, I’ll say it is in accordance with what has to be.”
[ 112 Fahrenheit = 44.4 °C ]