Australia’s move to a Republic

Professor Albert Pedant (MA Hons- Lagos, PhD – American Samoa) – emeritus adjunct professor at the online university of Woolloomooloo, has diligently researched the history of numerous Australian wine brands and labels. His treatise (2018) on Clonakilla, Hill of Grace, Para Port, and Grange Hermitage was acclaimed with international renown, numerous awards and academic prizes.

A recent lecture is reprinted with kind permission.

“It may surprise that I welcome the Republican movement in Australia, and its inevitable success.

Some imagine that historians seek merely to preserve the past, wallowing in its nostalgic fascinations. But time’s arrow moves only forwards. Australia demands a citizen of its own as Head of State. But apart from the formalities and constitutional minutiae, there are consequential effects.

The necessary changes will be profound, and this will be a challenge to historians to ensure that heritage is properly preserved, documented, and archived; not neglected, discarded, or destroyed.

Let me run through some instances.

Thankfully, Australian coins will be updated and lose the unwelcome effigy of a foreign monarch on one side; perhaps we can see the return of animals depicted on the superseded one and two cent coins – the feather-tailed glider and the frilled-neck lizard- there will be many others that can fill the spaces on higher-denomination coins. It is of course a convenient and blatant falsehood that existing coinage currency will become worthless within the Republic because of the existence of the monarchs effigy. Of course, the disappearance of the effigy will bring confusion over the traditional coin toss call of “heads or tails?”, and make basic student studies of probability more troublesome. “Two-up” will disappear.

References to the King (and the former Kings and Queens) will be removed. This applies to buildings, institutions, societies and charities. For example, The Royal Childrens’ Hospitals (several in Australia), Her Majesty’s Theatre, the Princess Theatre, Prince’s Park, Sovereign Hill, Royal Australian College of Surgeons (and many more medical specialties), The Royal Mint, the Royal Australian Army, Navy, and Air Force, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria, and the RSPCA. There will be no more Royal Commissions, no more Kings and Queens of Moomba.

Any hotels etc with Royal, King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Knight, Duke, Duchess, Baron, Lord, Earl, Countess, Viscount – or similar, including Crown Casino- will need new names and demand follow-on actions.

Next, there is a plethora of affected streets, towns and place names – Royal Parade, Queens Parade, the Princes Highway, Kingsway, Queenscliff, Queenstown, even Queensland (hopefully replaced with a memorable first nations name). Clearly, Victoria and Adelaide also stand on shaky ground.

Many parks, clubs – particularly Golf, Tennis, and Yachting – plus assorted University residential colleges will be affected, losing their “royal” connections.

The Holden Kingswood will be banned (although possibly permitted as a veteran vehicle) and Kingswood Country series streaming, DVD, blu-rays etc will be withdrawn. Crown Lager will be rebadged. Imports of Royal Doulton and Royal Albert tableware will cease. The beloved biscuit the Chocolate Royal will need a new moniker.

Danaus plexippus,  (the Monarch butterfly), Alisterus scapularis (the King parrot), and Aptenodytes patagonicus (King penguin), will require new common names.

Portraits of the royal family will be removed from public venues, providing opportunities for replacement local artworks to be displayed. Private displays in houses will be allowed, though naturally discouraged.

All citizens with affected family names will be required to alter these, and have passports, drivers’ licences, Medicare, credit cards and so on re-issued. The deceased are exempt, and gravestones and memorials will not need an update.

Clearly the overall cost will be substantial, with special benefits to the legal fraternity. Most wills, trusts, and corporate entities will require scrutiny, and numerous trademark, domain names, email addresses will be altered. Logos, signage, advertising, stationary, business cards, and much more. Legislative and statutory references to “the Crown” will be substituted.

What a boon for the economy! What a gift for my profession, as well as genealogy; with alas unwelcome opportunities for scammers, identity fraud and theft.

My own connection to wine and its intricacies is substantive. Immediate ramifications loom for the King Valley, McLaren Vale’s Bushing King, the Barons of Barossa, Ross Duke, Bruce Dukes, Narelle King, Llew Knight, Prince Albert, Tony Royal, Yangarra Kings’ Wood Shiraz. And many more!

Will the mooted transition period of two years suffice? There will not be so-called grandfathering, so speed is of the essence. I congratulate the foresight of leading barristers who became SC’s instead of clinging to the now-superseded QC (Queen’s Counsel) title.

I welcome the transformational challenges of the Republic of Australia, and am comforted that my companies (and those of my colleagues and peers) have consulting rates that are reasonable considering the monumental complexities involved.

In summary, the changes caused by the move to a Republic will make the introduction of decimal currency, the metric system, Y2K preparations and the introduction of the GST look elementary. Eventually, the Australian flag will change too, becoming something more authentic, presenting a boon to manufacturers, and a facelift for places where flags are flown.

In this brief lecture, I have only touched on a few of the essential considerations, and there are many more examples I could have provided, if my emolument tonight was greater.

My study tour of former monarchies that became Republics is only scheduled to last for three years; I hope this will be sufficient; my funding is guaranteed- curiously by institutions and benefactors on both sides of the debate, a testament to my diligence and foresight.

Lastly, there will be a pressing need for an official organisation to provide clarity and guidance before, and throughout the transition, issuing definitive judgements in case of disputes. My anticipated appointment as head of the Institute of Republic Arbitration (IRA), is an honour, and certainly not an imperial honour.”


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