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ZAWA Celebrates Australia Day 2001

Zoroastrian Association of Western Australia Day 2001

On 26th January 2001, the Zoroastrians of Perth and Western Australia celebrated Australia Day in their own unique fashion. Australia Day is the day Australia became independent of direct rule by the British. The Aussies got to form their own government, vote for their own leader and suffer the consequences of their own actions. This happened on this day in the year 1900.

The Z.A.W.A. committee came out with a completely novel idea. A bus was kindly dedicated for the afternoon by Aussie Perth Tours. It was a comfy and cozy 45 seater bus with cushioned seats and large windows to view the scenic route on which the bus took a contingent of about 40 Zoros to Langley Park on the Northern Shore of the Swan River. This location was ideal for spending the afternoon and quite close to the fireworks display.

Many of us brought our own picnic chairs to sit in comfort, while sipping on soft drinks. Public drinking was banned on that day and I think it was a wise move by the organisers of the fireworks display. Traffic was completely blocked off on Riverside Drive, so kids could play their little kiddy games without the parents having to continuously look over their shoulders. Motorcycle and mounted police were in attendance so there was peace of mind. Even police constables were making rounds while smiling and making friendly chit-chat with the spectators. The atmosphere was oozing with friendship for the fellow human being and love for our adopted country.

A friendly chat, a smile, some snacks, some drinks a visit to the loo and it was time for the main event of the day .... food. Absolutely mouthwatering and sumptuous Biryani was served in compact plastic takeaway boxes. There were two varieties, chicken and boiled egg Biryani. I had the chicken and I can vouch that it was simply out of this world. The eggiterians said that the egg Biryani too was very well done. The Biryani was supported by a tasety and tangy Dahi Kachumber made in abundance. Both the items were so tasety, that all the surplus was sold at a fair price and like hot cakes. Since the food was slightly on the spicy side, soft drinks also were sold plentifully.

Just as Jehangir Mehta finished passing around Cadbury Roses, which made an excellent desert after the spicy Biryani, a chopper arrived with two frogmen suspended under it. This chopper it seems, was used to escort the barge with the fireworks to its location, somewhere in mid-river opposite the Barrack Street Jetty.

Shortly after that, there was a demostration of paratroopers landing in Langley Park and aeroplanes writing the word "LOTTO" in the sky with smoke. It was exciting and breathtaking. There was a strong sea-breeze that day and people were starting to feel chilly on the northern shore. Some people had brought along their warm jackets. Others who were caught unawares, resorted to innovative ideas like covering themselves with garbage bags (unused).

And then at 8 o'clock, the fireworks started .... with a bang ofcourse. As always, they were accompanied by a continuous commentary on 92.9 FM Radio. All sorts of colourful fireworks kept the people on the edges of their seats (those that were sitting down) and the others aghast for the next 30 minutes. The Narrows Bridge was especially beautifu with the waterfall of colours. And the final star (or mushroom or rose) was simply out of this world. The spectators were participating fully in what was going on.

The behaviour of the crowd (ours and others) was noted to be very sober and quiet and no drunken brawls broke out, thanks to the organisers.

At 8:30 the day's proceedings came to an end. The crowd started dispersing. The Zoros too, slowly clambered into the bus thinking that in a few minutes, they would be back at Dog Swamp. But that was not to be. it took a good hour and a half before the bust could move out of Langley Park. But Bawajis being Bawajis took that in their stride, laughing, joking, telling stories and trying not to get Economy Class Syndrome.

At 10 o'clock in the evening, the bus was back at the Dog Swamp Shopping Centre, where we had started from. Everybody collected their belongings and retired to their cars for the homeward journey.

CREDITS

Bus Service

:

Aussie Perth Tours is a Perth based family owned business operating tours within Perth and to various destinations in Western Australia.

Biryani

:

Persis, Diana & Natasha Maarfatia, Villie & Firoz Khambatta, Sheroo and Firoz Vakil.

Dahi Kachumber

:

Anahita Fitter.

Organisation

:

The Z.A.W.A. committee.

I was, as usual with my faithful digital camera clicking pictures of what was going on. Who was talking to whom and more importantly who was not talking to whom. Who was eating what and how much. Who was doing things he or she was not supposed to be doing. Oh Yes, I was clicking away pictures galore blissfully unaware that when the actual fireworks started, my camera batteries would give way. Talk about Dumb and Dumber.

So below, I have some pictures for the whole world to see. take a look at how the Zoroastrians of Western Australia celebrated Australia Day 2001. These photos are high quality photographs and might take a while to load. So do be patient.



































Zoroastrians followers of Prophet Zarathushtra in Western Australia

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