I’ve discovered a secret so dark, so well-kept, so earth-shattering that only a few people on this planet will ever admit to knowing (and that’s only under extreme vetting, I mean torture) that the key to understanding Canberra is, the number 47.
It took me years to figure this out, but after much research, multiple questionings of secretive people over an inordinate length of time, the undisclosed information that has baffled millions for a century or more can finally be told — I now understand Canberra.
The following are just some of the secrets to Canberra: the truth is out there.
When a Canberran says “warm today”, they mean that it’s 47 degrees. In winter, when only ducks and drakes and other dubious types come out in daylight, you will hear someone say, “cold today”. What they really mean is that it’s minus 47.
Coincidentally, or not as the case may be, there are exactly 470 public servants in each suburb. Spooky you might say, I think not. And what about the median age in Canberra? Yep, you guessed it, 47. Then there’s the 47 arts groups, the 47 cats and 47 dogs in each suburb, and there’s the 47 people who think that all this is not true: you know who you are.
And don’t forget that 47 (forty-seven) is the natural number following 46 and preceding 48. Think about that for a moment. 47 is considered to be the number of the Law. And where are all the laws of Australia made? In Canberra.
Don’t forget that 47 is the numerical value of the verse in the book of Genesis, where it is written: “And God saw that it was good”. Of course, God was talking about Canberra.
Another spooky number is 1913, the year that Canberra became the official name of this place of mystery. 1913 is 47 years before the year I was born. 1960, the year of the most tumultuous social and political upheaval in the history of the world, other than 1066 that is. Of course, Canberra is the city where the most tumultuous social and political revolution has happened. That’s the sacking of Gough Whitlam I’m talking about here. This is no coincidence people.
Doubt no longer, the mystery to Canberra has been solved.
The key to understanding what takes place in the puzzling paddock that is the capital of Australia, can now be told. I will probably be hunted down and relentlessly pursued for the rest of my natural life, but the truth must be told, no matter the cost to my personal liberty or wellbeing.
While little else can be said to dispel the ultimate truth that the number 47 and Canberra are inextricably linked, but here’s two last facts, — Fact 1, on 17 January, 1947 – William Dargie won the Archibald Prize with his portrait of Marcus Clarke. The same Marcus Clarke whose literary greatness is celebrated throughout Canberra in places such as the Marcus Clarke building, the Marcus Clarke street, and, the Marcus Clarke secure parking station. It is at number 121. 47 minus 121 is 74; these numbers should haunt you forever, and that’s another part of the code of Canberra broken.
Fact 2, A. D. Hope, who became the first professor of English at the newly founded Canberra University College in 1947, also passed away in Canberra. In 1947, A.D Hope wrote “Conquistador”. He was not talking about a murderous soldier of the Spanish empire, as can be clearly read in this stanza from his celebrated poem.
”The dessert shrivelled and burnt off his feet:
His bones and buttons an enormous snake
Vomited up; still in the shimmering heat
The pygmies showed him their forbidden lake”
What better describes Canberra? Nothing.
Nothing further needs to be said, except, the evidence is clear and cannot be disputed. Next week I’ll bring you the horrifying tale of the real meaning of Melbourne.
Video courtesy of biscuitchucker