Monday, October 20, 2008
Today is the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House.
Happy Anniversary Sydney Sails!
Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of England and Australia, officially opened the Sydney Opera House on October 20, 1973, 46 years after the Danish architect Joern Utzon won the international competition to design Australia's national opera house at Bennelong Point in Sydney.
(This is not the Opera House; but it's cute isn't it?)
The Sydney Opera House broke all the rules when it won an international competition in 1957. The competition was announced in January 1956, the winner announced the following year. Building work started in 1958.
After a series of disputes with the state government of the time, Utzon resigned from the project in February 1966. A panel of architects then continued the work on the Sydney Opera House.
Today, this Modern Expressionist building is one of the most famous, and most photographed, structures of the 20th century.
“Win the opera house in a lottery.” Not quite, but a good old “chook raffle” (google that too if you don’t know the lingo!) is the favourite Aussie way to raise funds. In late 1930, the newly elected NSW State Government decided to try its own chook raffle. Led by Jack Lang, they decided the only course of action to solve the critical funding situation in the States Hospitals was to start a State Lottery. Maybe they could look at that again now? There followed, a Harbour Bridge Lottery in 1932 and it was no holds barred from then on; and in November 1957, to finance the building of the Sydney Opera House, tickets in Opera House Lottery No 1 went on sale. Tickets were £5 each ($10) with a first prize of £100,000 ($200,000).
My photo of the Opera House shows another Sydney icon in the foreground – a Sydney Harbour Ferry. This one, the Lady Herron was the last of the Lady class vessels to be built, launched on 23 August, 1979. She was built by the State Dockyard at Carrington Slipway in Newcastle and is constructed of steel and is 38.71 metres in length, has total beam of 9.38 metres and draught of 2.06 metres. Lady Herron has a displacement of 287 tonnes and can carry up to 552 passengers. She is mainly confined to the Mosman - Circular Quay - Taronga Zoo run.
A couple of links if you are interested…
or for what’s on