The Gympie Times Sports Writer, Tom Daunt.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times
The Gympie Times Sports Writer, Tom Daunt.Photo Patrick Woods / Gympie Times Patrick Woods

Who do I see about getting Cup day off?

WE HAVE one for a redundant monarch.

We have one for a country show, and we have one for the day after Christmas.

But why do we not have a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup?

It is the one day the vast majority of Australians actually stop what they are doing and tune into a sporting event.

When you look at it, that type of attention is unprecedented, I would argue, anywhere else in the world.

No other sporting event on the planet virtually stops a whole country.

Even the State Of Origin, which is regarded as the most watched sporting event in the country, doesn't command the same attention the Cup does.

So why is this not formally recognised with a public holiday?

To be honest I am not really sure, but I will hazard a guess.

Does it have something to with the fact that if we did introduce a public holiday for the event we would be condoning gambling and excessive alcohol consumption?

Well personally I don't think so.

Compared to Australia day, where the nation pretty much rights itself off, I don't see how the Melbourne Cup differs.

Is it because it condones gambling?

I hate to say it but one of our most valued public holidays incorporates wholesale gambling as par for the course.

If you have not played two-up on Anzac Day you haven't lived, and I know from experience that honouring our war heroes can involve a few beers, particularly for those who have worn the uniform.

I think it is time we formally recognised the impact that this historic race has had on our sporting culture and give the punters what they want.

Let's stop with the awkward work functions and the sneaky lunch time dash to the TAB and honour the race that stops a nation.

Gympie Times


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