Ipswich: Cause to celebrate Australia’s big day

IPSWICH, ENGLAND/ IPSWICH AUSTRALIA: Cork hats and didgeridoos will be on full show across the town today as residents unite to celebrate Australia Day.

January 26 marks the foundation of modern Australia with the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove when Captain Arthur Phillip claimed sovereignty over the county’s eastern seaboard.

But today will take a more poignant tone given the devastating floods that have struck our namesake town in Queensland.

The deluge which hit the Brisbane area has claimed lives, destroyed homes and property, and here in Ipswich, Suffolk, our thoughts have been with our friends Down Under.

The clean-up in Queensland is officially under way and Australia Test cricketer Shane Watson has returned to his home town of Ipswich, Queensland, to offer a helping hand.

Across Ipswich, Suffolk, generous fundraisers were due to host events to help those affected by the ordeal.

At Shaftesbury House care home, in Cowper Street, residents were expected to enjoy didgeridoo music and Australian flags hung from all walls.

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Activities co-ordinator Julie Clifford, said: “One of our residents is from Australia and we thought it would be nice to celebrate her homeland.

“We’re expecting to have a bonza day.”

Students and staff at Otley College were due to dress up in clobber for the Aussie event. They got their faces painted and enjoyed tucker from the college cafeterias.

John Nice, college spokesman, said: “The Evening Star campaign is an excellent idea as it sends out a powerful message that we are all in this together. The world is a lot smaller than you realise when you start travelling.”

At Ipswich Building Society, staff at the Tower Ramparts branch also enjoyed a themed day of Aussie fun.

n How will you mark Australia Day? Call us if you want us to cover your celebrations. Phone 01473 324788 or alternatively you can e-mail starnews@ eveningstar.co.uk