Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Boreham on Anniversaries

Retaining the Nuggets
F W Boreham’s repeated his plea to his readers to celebrate their national achievements as a sign of Australia’s growth in nationhood. This patriotic call was a strand within a larger theme in which Boreham viewed the observation of anniversaries as a collective savoring of the lessons of history and opportunities to imbibe corporately the values that such occasions marked.

“Memory is like a sieve,” he said, “and we need to let through the sand and retain the nuggets”.[1]

Communal Remembering
Boreham had a fondness for celebrating his personal anniversaries and a large proportion of his editorials were suggested by a particular one.[2] Certain editorials (including Christmas, Easter, Old Year and New Year) were designed to foster a common remembering (national and international) and to appeal to a basic human longing.

Boreham said such remembering on these anniversaries was contagious, spreading an “infection of festivity” because “we are gregarious creatures ... [with an] instinct to festivity”.[3] This next section looks at two representative types of editorials: Remembrance Days and the religious festival of Christmas.

Geoff Pound

Image: 'Memory is like a sieve'..

[1] F W Boreham, Mercury, 20 April 1935.
[2] Boreham, The silver shadow, 246. In this example, Boreham wrote about celebrating the anniversary of his ordination.
[3] Boreham, Mercury, 27 December 1919.