Bryce Robert Alan and Brayden Alfred John
Ochre and Echo – both girls (twins Lily and Meg, Willow, Bay)
Adriana Audrey Renee (Greyson, Elliot)
Anastasia Elizabeth May (Charlotte)
Ciara Skye (Hudsen, Macy)
Clementine Florence (Lachlan, Patrick)
Daisy Jean (Maggie)
Eleanor Lillian (Trinity, Xander)
Emmeline Sarah Grace (Kayla, Joel)
Georgina Olivia Amy (Liliana)
Grace Jenna (Cadel, Emily)
Hazel Rose Constance (India)
Matilda Jane (Harry, Wilbur)
Monique Lani (Riley, Tyler)
Phillipa Isabel (Leo)
Zoe Barbara (Grace, Naomi, Joshua)
Alexander Finn (Scarlett, Stella)
Austin Charles (Savannah, Memphis)
Bobby Dan (Jade, James, Jordan, Alfie)
Charlie Elian (Henry)
Erik Walter (Hudson)
Felix Benjamin Rivett
Flynn Roderick Kingsley (Ryder, Lacey, Braxton)
Gabriel Ross David (Grace)
Giuseppe Costa (Lily Anastasia)
Jasper Orson (Ocean)
Joe Richard (Roy, Leo)
Leonardo Frank (Oliver, Sebastian)
Lloyd Patrick (Tiarna, Eamonn)
Matteo Domenic (Luca)
Quinci (Dali, Eiki)
Rhett William (Alyssa)
Sam Louis Baxter (Alexander, Will, Zara)
Tyson Dene (Jessica, Jasmin, Jayde)
Zac Foti (Lucas)
Fifty years ago, on February 12 1965, a bus left Sydney University on a two-week tour of rural New South Wales. Aboard was a group of 29 white and black activists, mostly students, who had been inspired by the American civil rights movement of the 1960s to protest in support of Indigenous civil rights.
The bus trip had been organised by Student Action for Aborigines, and their elected president was Charles “Charlie” Perkins, one of only two Indigenous students at Sydney University, and a huge fan of Dr Martin Luther King. The trip was later dubbed the Freedom Ride, after the famous Freedom Riders of the American civil rights movement, who took buses through the southern states in 1961 to protest racial segregation.
Some members of SAFA saw themselves as on a fact-finding mission to collect evidence of discrimination against Aborigines in rural Australia. At the time, many Australians believed racism was a problem which existed only in South Africa, or in the deep south of the United States. But the Australian Freedom Riders found that apartheid and segregation did not just happen overseas.
The SAFA were shocked to find the poor living conditions of most rural Aborigines, and that hospitals, schools, and churches separated black people from white in some country towns, as did milk bars, pubs, and cinemas. In others, Indigenous Australians were barred from entering swimming pools, clubs, or restaurants, while it was routine for them to be refused service in shops and businesses.
The students made several non-violent protests on their bus trip, and also tried to encourage Indigenous Australians to join their protests and demand better treatment. In Moree they helped Aboriginal children to go swimming at the pool in defiance of the race-based ban against them, and were greeted with hostility by white locals, who threw eggs, rotten fruit, and stones at the protesters while spitting at them. However, they were eventually able to persuade the town council to overturn the ban.
One of the students on the Freedom Ride was also an ABC journalist, and the SAFA had ensured plenty of media coverage on their bus trip – they even made the news internationally. With the events of the Freedom Ride appearing on television, radio, and in newspaper articles, and with the harsh injustice against Australian Aborigines exposed, it was no longer possible for white Australians to claim ignorance of racism in their own country.
Charles Perkins graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966, becoming the first Indigenous Australian man to graduate from university. The following year, as manager of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs, he headed the campaign to advocate for a Yes vote in the Referendum which allowed Aboriginal people to be counted in censuses, and for parliament to be allowed to introduce legislation specifically for Aboriginal people. The Referendum passed, with more than 90% of Australians voting Yes.
He became a public servant with the Office of Aboriginal Affairs, and in 1981 was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs – the first Indigenous Australian to become permanent head of a federal government department. He took leadership roles in the Aboriginal community, and, being a former soccer player, was also appointed to key positions in football administration. He received many awards and honours during his lifetime.
On February 18 this year, his daughter Rachel Perkins was among those who took a bus from Sydney University in a re-enactment for the fiftieth anniversary of the Freedom Ride. Along the way, they were greeted warmly by the communities they entered, rather than having stones thrown at them or being run off the road, as a sign of how things have changed.
Although this year’s five-day bus trip could celebrate improvements in the lives of Indigenous Australians, such as being counted in the census and having access to the same education as white people, it also highlighted the disadvantages that many Aborigines continue to suffer, such as poverty, unemployment, health issues, higher rates of incarceration, and covert racism. The work of the Freedom Riders is by no means complete.
Name Information Charles is the French form of the Germanic name Karal, which in modern German is Karl; it comes from the Germanic karlaz, meaning “a free man”. In Anglo-Saxon English karlaz became ceorl, denoting the lowest rank of freemen – a peasant who was neither a slave nor a serf. Ceorl does seem to have been used as a name in Anglo-Saxon England, even by royalty. By modern times, the word had become churl, understood as “a country person, someone of low social status”, and eventually seen as someone rude, loutish and vulgar – exhibiting what we call churlish behaviour.
The name has become widely known chiefly because of Charles Martel, a powerful Frankish military leader who never held the title of king, but nevertheless ruled Francia (modern France) as Duke and Prince, and divided the kingdom of the Franks between his sons, just as kings did. His grandson was Charles I, otherwise known as Charlemagne (Charles the Great), called “The Father of Europe”. He united western Europe and laid the foundations for modern France and Germany; his kingdom is known as the Carolingian Empire.
Little wonder the name Charles was a favourite in the French monarchy; the last one was Charles X, who ruled in the 19th century until being forced to abdicate and go into exile. This means that Charles remained a French royal name for over a thousand years.
The name Charles became used by British royalty due to the Stuart kings, who were Scottish; Scotland has long had ties with France. Charles I wasn’t a terrifically popular king, and fought against his enemies in the English Civil War. Losing that, he refused to accept the parliament’s demand for a constitutional monarchy, and was beheaded for treason. He is regarded as a martyr in Anglicanism.
England became a republic for a few years, until the monarchy was restored with the accession of Charles’ son. Charles II was known as the Merry Monarch for his decadent lifestyle, and although he couldn’t stick the parliament either, he managed to dissolve it without getting his head cut off.
We may get a King Charles III in the near future, although some are of the opinion that Charles is not a suitable name for a modern king. The first two Charleses were anti-parliament and resisted a constitutional monarchy, while Charles II is considered to have lived an “immoral” life that we now expect kings not to emulate. (Maybe the spaniels are also an issue). Prince Charles could rule under any of his names, and a popular belief is that he will choose to take the throne as George VII.
There are quite a number of saints named Charles, and several religious leaders, such as Charles Wesley, who co-founded the Methodist Church, and Charles Spurgeon, a famous Baptist preacher.
Famous people from Australian history include explorer Captain Charles Sturt; naval officer Sir Charles Fremantle, after whom the city of Fremantle is named; Charles La Trobe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria; Sir Charles Menzies, founder of the city of Newcastle; astronomer and pioneering meteorologist Charles Todd; Charles Harpur, our first real poet; Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, World War I flying ace and pioneer aviator; Antarctic explorer Charles Laseron; distinguished film-maker Charles Chauvel; artist Charles Blackman; and brilliant neurosurgeon Charles “Charlie” Teo.
Charles is a classic name which has never left the charts, and barely been out of the Top 100. It was #7 in the 1900s, and reached its lowest point in the 1980s at #116. It was back on the Top 100 by the following decade, and since then its position has been fairly stable. In 2013, it was #81 nationally, #81 in New South Wales, #88 in Victoria, #85 in Queensland, #53 in Tasmania, and #86 in the Australian Capital Territory.
With Charles, you get a handsome, elegant classic and as a solid, traditional name. Its history takes you back to European royalty, and Charles still feels regal and noble. However, lest the name feel too stiff and formal, it has a number of relaxed, casual nicknames.
Charlie is a popular name in its own right, while the older-style Chas is familiar from comedian Chas Licciardello. The vintage nickname Chilla, which appears to be uniquely Australian, is perhaps best known from 1950s Olympic athlete “Chilla” Porter. The American nicknames Chip and Chuck are rarely used here, probably because they mean “French fry” and “vomit” respectively in Australian English.
Vov Dylan has been playing the violin since he was a baby, and won many awards and scholarships performing on the classical music circuit. He formed his own orchestra in 2001, and tours Australia, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Last year Vov officially became the world’s fastest violinist when he played Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee in 38.1 seconds during a gig at Lizotte’s in Dee Why (it usually takes around 90 seconds). He has released six albums, with his most recent being Timeless. He has already bought Avalon her own violin, and she is taking daily lessons with her dad.
Actress and singer Stephanie McIntosh, and her boyfriend Pete Hieatt, welcomed their first child in December last year and have named their daughter Milla.
Stephanie started her career as a child actor on children’s television, and became a fan favourite playing Sky Mangel on soap opera Neighbours in the early 2000s. Her half-brother Jason Donovan was also a Neighbours star, in the 1980s. Also a singer, her album Tightrope was released in 2006, and made #4 on the ARIA album chart, with its biggest single Mistake getting to #3. Now based in Los Angeles, she has recently had roles in Liars All and Red Herring.
Pete is a landscape gardener from Los Angeles. He and Stephanie have been together since early 2014.
Last week I examined how babies have been named in the House of Windsor, with a look at the factors common to the names of those close to the throne. By following those methods used in the past, I looked at names that could be considered for a brother for Prince George.
In case you can’t be bothered reading the whole post, the basic thing to keep in mind is: names of royals (kings, queens, princes, and princesses) that are currently popular. Now it’s time to look at what a possible sister to Prince George could be called.
There have been several princesses named Elizabeth, five British queens, and one queen of Scotland named Elizabeth; of course Elizabeth II is the current monarch, and her mother’s name was Elizabeth too. Elizabeth is also the middle name of the duchess. Current gossip says that Elizabeth is the name that the Duke and Duchess have already chosen for their baby, should they have a girl, and gained permission from the queen. As 2015 is the year that Queen Elizabeth is set to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history, it would seem like the perfect gesture, especially if the baby arrives on Queen Elizabeth’s birthday. A cute connection is that Lily could be used as the nickname, which is one of Catherine’s favourite flowers. My rating: nine coronets
A name introduced to the royal family by Queen Victoria, there have been four princesses named Alice. The most recent was an aunt of Queen Elizabeth, who was married to the Governor-General of Australia, and lived here for two years after World War II. She reached the greatest age of anyone yet in the British royal family, passing away at the age of 102. Another was Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria who married into the Greek royal family, and became the mother of Prince Philip. Alice is one of Princess Anne’s middle names, and it is also a prominent name in the Spencer family, as Alice Spencer was a patron of the arts. And don’t George and Alice sound adorable together? No wonder this has often been tipped as a possibility. My rating: eight and a half coronets
This only became a British royal name with the accession of the teenaged Alexandrina, who used her middle name to rule as Queen Victoria. The last of the Hanoverians, the longest-reigning British monarch so far, and a powerful symbol of the British Empire, Victoria is an eminently suitable royal name which has been handed down to seven princesses – Queen Victoria’s mother was another Princess Victoria. In fact, Alice of Battenberg’s first name was Victoria, making this another possibility to honour the mother of Prince Philip. A popular choice with the bookies, Victoria is said to be one of Catherine’s favourite names (more gossip!). The timing is perhaps not as good as for Elizabeth, with the queen set to overtake Queen Victoria’s record reign next year. My rating: eight coronets
This name was introduced to English royalty by Eleanor of Aquitaine, a wealthy, powerful French duchess who married Henry II, and was the mother of two kings – Richard I, and King John. Other medieval Eleanors married English kings, and the name was handed down to multiple princesses. This seems a very suitable name for a princess; elegant and restrained with an impeccable royal pedigree. It’s the name of one of Prince William’s Spencer cousins, which isn’t necessarily a drawback – all three of Prince George’s names are shared with Spencer cousins. My rating: seven and a half coronets
There have been two British princesses named Amelia – one a daughter of George II, and the other a daughter of George III. The latter Amelia (called Emily) was beautiful and charming, and great hopes for held for her future, but unfortunately she died of measles, and her death devastated the royal family, helping to precipitate her father into madness. There is an Amelia in the Windsor family, a grand-daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and one in the Spencer family as well, a cousin of Princes William and Harry, who is considered rather “wild”. There is no historical reason a #1 name would be rejected (the queen’s sister Princess Margaret had the #1 name of her era), and Amelia is in with a genuine chance, although it may come with some baggage. My rating: six coronets
This is a truly royal name, because Sophia of Hanover was the mother of King George I, and to be in the line of succession to the British throne, you must be a direct descendant of Sophia. There has been a queen named Sophia (George I’s wife), and three princesses, with the most recent being born in the 18th century. Sophia has been used as a middle name in the royal family fairly often, although I think George and Sophia as royal siblings are a bit much. My rating: five coronets
Queen Alexandra was the wife of Edward VIII; a Danish princess by birth, she was elegant, fashionable, and extremely popular with the British public. There have been a number of princesses named Alexandra, including ones still living – a notable example is Princess Alexandra, who is a cousin of the queen, and one of the most active members of the royal family. It’s a popular royal middle name, and the queen herself has Alexandra as one of her middle names. To me this would be a slightly odd choice, as Alexander is one of Prince George’s middle names My rating: four coronets
This is a name from Prince Philip’s family, because Princess Sophie of Greece and Denmark was the Duke of Edinburgh’s sister. Another family connection is that Prince Edward’s wife is named Sophie, and she has reportedly been a good friend to Catherine, as well as a favourite of Queen Elizabeth. Despite not being a name of a British queen or princess, I don’t think Sophie can be entirely ruled out. My rating: three coronets
Queen Charlotte was the wife of George III, and there have been two Princess Charlottes in the British royal family named after her. The last one was Princess Charlotte of Wales, who died young in childbirth, deeply mourned by the public, who had hoped she would one day be queen. Although not used for a princess since, Charlotte is in use as a middle name in the current royal family. Charles Spencer, brother to Diana, Princess of Wales, has a very young daughter named Charlotte Diana, so a bit awkward to use it if the duke and duchess also want Diana as the middle name. Although the name could seem like a nod to Prince Charles, so far the royal family has not used feminised forms of male names to honour men. Charlotte is also the middle name of Pippa Middleton, sister to the duchess; although some people think this makes the name more likely, to me it makes it less likely, because the royals probably don’t want the name to seem as if it is honouring a commoner in-law. My rating: two coronets
This was a reasonably common royal name in the Middle Ages, introduced by a beautiful French countess who married King John. Another beautiful queen was the Isabella who married King Edward III; a French princess, she became known as The She-Wolf of France for her intrigues against her husband, which led to him being deposed, and their son Edward III becoming king. For ever after, she has been viewed as a femme fatale figure. This name has also been used in the Spencer family, but its wolfish image is problematic. I think it’s too ornate for a British princess, and the Twilight connection probably isn’t a help. My rating: one coronet
This name goes right back the beginning of English royalty, because Matilda of Flanders was the wife of William the Conqueror. There have been three other medieval English queens named Matilda, and one princess who became the Empress Matilda and claimed the English throne during a period of anarchy – she was never proclaimed queen, but rather Lady of the English, and her son was made king when he was old enough. In more modern times, Matilda has been used as a middle name within the royal family. This name would greatly please the royal family’s Australian subjects, although I can’t think of any reason why they would particularly want to please us, unless that toy bilby we gave Prince George was a bigger hit than it seemed at the time. I can’t say this is impossible, but it doesn’t seem at all likely. My rating: one coronet
This royal name pre-dates the Norman Conquest, because Emma of Normandy married both Ethelred the Unready and Cnut the Great, and was the mother of Edward the Confessor, once regarded as a patron saint of England. She was the first English queen to have a portrait, and was both rich and influential. Despite being way, way back, she is an ancestor of the current royal family. However, I do think this is just too mists-of-timey. My rating: half a coronet
Edith was a common royal name in Anglo-Saxon times, and one princess named Edith was a saint. Edith of Essex was the wife of Edward the Confessor, and highly influential. While this is very ancient history, Matilda of Scotland, who married Henry II and was the mother of the Empress Matilda, was baptised Edith, only receiving the Norman name Matilda upon her marriage to a Norman king. Although she was a stand-out queen, and the link between modern royalty and the Anglo-Saxon kings, this is a pretty flimsy connection, and regrettably it seems most unlikely, although personally I would love it. So English, so regal, so refined, and quite a fashionable name to boot. My rating: half a coronet
Maria d’Este was an Italian princess who became queen through marrying James II, but she was known as Queen Mary in England until her husband fled to France during the Glorious Revolution. Too foreign. My rating: zero coronets
This has a long, if sparing, use as a royal name. Beatrice of England was the daughter of Henry III, while Queen Victoria had both a daughter and a grand-daughter called Princess Beatrice. It’s currently in use by Princess Beatrice of York, Prince William’s cousin, and her name was considered an unusual choice at the time. As she is the daughter of the controversial Prince Andrew, I don’t think this is in with any sort of chance. My rating: zero coronets
Unlike the potential princely names, which had no glaringly obvious choice, there are some very clear winners for a princess. I am tipping Elizabeth, Alice, or Victoria, with some chance of Eleanor or Amelia, and Sophia as an outsider. With solid options on the girls’ list, I can’t see any reason why the royals would need to look beyond it, and feel pretty confident one of the names in this post will be used.
(Picture shows a photo of Queen Elizabeth II as a very young child – could there soon be another Princess Elizabeth in the House of Windsor?)
Annabelle Farley “Belle” (Felicity, James)
Avery Hope (Eden, Sam, Imogen)
Beatrice Victoria (Caroline)
Cadence Rose (Bonnie, Samson)
Dakoda Jewels (Tiarna, Latoya, Mikayla, Tahlia)
Dulcie Autumn (Molly, Isla, Wyatt, Violet, Abel, Nyle)
Elsie Bess (Campbell, Isla)
Evie Lola (Tom, Charlie)
Hazel May (Delilah)
Ijana (Owen, Katja)
Isla Jennifer Joy (Chace)
Koa (Jailyn, Mila)
Leilani Seruia (Emanuel)
Melody Paula Faye
Moriah (Esafe, Sheerah)
Phillipa Vera (Jessica)
Reeve Milah (Dante, Tanner)
Scarlett Rosemary (Oscar)
Varli Lee (Kodi, Tori)
Victoria Evelyn Larkin
Whitney Estella (Ryder, Soraya)
Buddy Fred (Henry, Charlie, Harry, Johnny)
Carter Shane Taia
Douglas Gregory (Christian, Kyle, Imogen)
Felix Lars (Lola, Angus)
Hugo Patrick (Anastasia, Rupert)
Humphrey Ross (Archie, Evie)
Lachlan Fisher (Hamish, Isabel)
Milano John (Marchesa, Gabriel)
Murphy Sidney (Quinn, Fraser, Emmett)
Nathaniel Leslie (Hayley)
Quinnten Hunter James (Tayla, Amber, Braxton, Faith)
Rocco Ellis (Sonny)
Sasha Jasper (Noah)
Theodore Laurence “Theo” (Xavier)
(Picture shows clouds over Yanchep, north of Perth; photo from Angie in Yanchep)
This blog post first appeared on February 13 2011, and was substantially revised on February 19 2015.
As tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day, I thought I would focus on the name connected with this day for lovers.
The history of how the name became associated with a day for sweethearts is rather murky. The feast of Saint Valentine was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, and he freely admitted that nobody had a clue who Valentine was or what he had done apart from give up his life for his faith and been buried on February 14; traditionally in 269.
There were so many martyrs called Valentine that the compilers of hagiographies didn’t know which Valentine Gelasius meant – hardly surprising as he didn’t either – but managed to whittle it down to two candidates: a bishop and a priest. Saint Valentine seemed doomed to be relegated to the ranks of the obscure minor saints.
Then the Italian archbishop and chronicler Jacobus de Voragine compiled The GoldenLegend around 1260. This bestseller of the Middle Ages gave the reader a little story about each saint on the liturgical calendar. It included a brief biography of Saint Valentine which portrayed him as a priest who refused to deny Christ before the Emperor Claudius in the year 280.
Before he was decapitated for his obstinacy, he restored the sight of his gaoler’s blind daughter as a show of Christ’s power. (The daughter was also deaf, but The GoldenLegend remains mute as to whether that was similarly healed). This legend became more and more romantically embroidered until Saint Valentine was a priest imprisoned for marrying Christian couples, was in love with the blind daughter he healed, and sent her a card signed, “From your Valentine.”
A popular notion is that the church introduced Valentine’s Day as a Christian substitute for the pagan festival of Lupercalia. You will read this all over the place as if it is an established fact. Actually it has pretty much zero evidence to support it, and was suggested by two 18th century antiquarians (one of them a priest).
The idea that Saint Valentine’s Day was a day set aside for lovers dates back to a poem written by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382, in which he pretended it was an ancient tradition. Fake ancient traditions being all the rage in medieval Europe, it quickly became fashionable to write poems and perform other romantic acts for your beloved on February 14.
Older Australians sometimes grumble about the Americanisation of Valentine’s Day, but if that means you get a card, flowers, and a box of chokkies instead of nothing, then hurray for Americanisation say I! The big event that happened here on Valentine’s Day was the decimalisation of our currency in 1966 – mm, romantic.
I wish you all a happy Saint Valentine’s Day, for although the whole thing turns out to be as fake as a decimalised three dollar bill, it’s as real as really real to everyone who gets a flutter in their heart when they receive a poem, card or SMS signed, From your Valentine.
Name Information Valentine is from the Roman name Valentinus, derived from the Latin valens, meaning “strong, vigorous, healthy, powerful.” The name was popular in ancient Rome; you can tell how common it was from the fact that there are eleven saints called Valentine, and three called Valens. There has also been a Pope Valentine, a member of the Roman nobility who died just five weeks after being consecrated.
The medieval romance Valentine and Orson tells of twin brothers who are abandoned in the woods as babies. While Valentine is brought up as a knight at a royal court, Orson is raised by bears and becomes a wild man of the woods, until he is tamed by Valentine, and becomes his servant. There are two Valentines in the plays of William Shakespare: one a main character in Two Gentlemen of Verona, while the other a bit part in Twelfth Night. Valentine is the sort of romantic, fairy-tale name which has seen it chosen for sci-fi, fantasy, and video games.
In use as an English name since the Middle Ages, Valentine is more often given to boys, although girls named Valentine are relatively common (relative to the number of overall Valentines, I mean). In France, Valentine is a girl’s name, the feminine form of Valentinus, said with the accent on the last syllable instead of the first. It is a Top 100 girl’s name in France, and may have been given a boost from the character named Valentine, a student and model, in the film Three Colours: Red.
Valentine was on the US Top 1000 for boys from 1880, and didn’t leave it permanently until the mid-1950s. It’s only charted twice for girls – once in 1885, and once in 1917. In 2013, there were 32 baby girls given the name Valentine, and 35 boys, making the name almost evenly unisex in the United States. The same situation exists in the UK, where there were 9 girls and 8 boys named Valentine in 2013.
Valentine has never charted in Australia, and is in rare use (the Italian form Valentino is far more common), but I do see it as a middle name for both sexes in birth notices, especially around Valentine’s Day. There are thousands of Valentines in Australian historical records, mostly male, although as a middle name more evenly given to both sexes. The name seems fairly multicultral, given to men with British, Italian, German, and Jewish surnames.
Some romantic name combinations from Australia which took my eye were Valentine Orson, Valentine Giovanni, Cecil Endymion Valentine, Percival Valentine, Capel Arthur Valentine, Lemuel Reginald Valentine Fitzgerald, Ethelbert Valentine, Valentine Aubrey Hamilton, and Saint Valentine, and for girls Evangeline Valentine, Delice Frances Valentine, Lila Valentine, Fairy Valentine, Queenie Valentine, and Valentine Lovely.
Famous Australians named Valentine include war hero Valentine Stacy, scientist Valentine Anderson, and radio and TV pioneer Valentine McDowall (born on Valentine’s Day). Convict Valentine Marshall was transported to Tasmania as a teenager for taking part in political riots, but sadly for romance, he later got in trouble for spouse abuse.
More recently, Valentine Trainor invented the sport of Ironman, and Valentine Jones was the guitarist for Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs. Of course, you will see the name of a famous Valentine every time you go the movies at a Hoyts cinema – Val Morgan, the head of Val Morgan Advertising. He handed his name down to his son, William Valentine Morgan.
The suburb of Valentine in Lake Macquare is named after Henry Valentine Joseph Geary, a property developer and mine owner in the area. Meanwhile Valentine Creek in the Snowy Mountains may have been discovered on a Valentine’s Day – the Valentine Hut nearby was originally painted red with white hearts, a motif which even went as far as the toilet seat.
A famous female Valentine was Valentine Leeper, an eccentric teacher born in Melbourne on February 14 in 1900. She became known for writing influential letters on subjects such as education, the ordination of women, international politics and indigenous affairs. She had her own radio show for many years, where she shared little-known facts and her own opinions in equal measure, and if alive today, would surely be a busy blogger and tireless tweeter.
Ms Leeper’s birth date is important in Australian cultural history, because Valentine’s Day in 1900 is the date on which the main events occur in Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock. An unsolved mystery about the disappearance of three schoolgirls and their eccentric teacher at Hanging Rock in Victoria, it was made into a successful and much-loved film by Peter Weir. Much later, Lindsay published the final chapter which was to explain everything, although it is still an ambiguous ending, open to interpretation.
Valentine is a rare vintage name name that has a strong meaning, but an elegant and slightly fanciful image. It is a name that will always be associated with love and romance, and would be a perfect choice for a baby born on or near Valentine’s Day. It can be given to both boys and girls, and many parents would probably prefer it tucked away in the middle. Nicknames include Val, Valley or Valli, Nina, and Tina, although the fashionable Lenny also seems possible.
(Photo shows Heart Reef in the Whitsunday Islands)
The Channel 9 mini-series House of Hancock has just come to an end, having enjoyed a certain amount of notoriety and controversy. The series is based on one of Australia’s real life soap operas: the family of wealthy Western Australian mining magnate Lang Hancock.
The main focus of the mini-series is on the relationship between Lang and his daughter Georgina (called Gina), brought under pressure when the teenaged Gina married a man old enough to be her father, which is increased when freshly-widowed Lang married his Filipina maid, who was young enough to be his daughter. The story then follows Gina’s relentless rise to wealth and power as Lang’s heiress, accompanied by family ructions.
Gina Rinehart is the chair of Hancock Prospecting, founded by her father Lang. She is the richest person in Australia, and a few years ago was the world’s richest woman, but is now only the sixth-richest. She was named after her father, who has George as one of his middle names, while her middle name Hope is her mother’s name.
Mrs Rinehart took legal action against the makers of House of Hancock, with her lawyer calling the program “almost entirely fiction”, “replete with falsehoods”, and its depiction of true events as “twisted.” Part of her legal team’s argument was that actors in Houseof Hancockbreached consumer law against misleading and deceptive conduct by pretending to be someone else. I can only think a lot of actors, if not all of them at some time or another, have similarly breached consumer law.
Her lawyers were successful: Gina was granted access to the second episode before it went to air, and certain cuts were hastily made to key scenes before the show went to air, leading to a very abrupt ending. Despite all the cuts, House of Hancock was a hit, attracting more than 25% of the audience, or nearly 2 million viewers per episode. Actress Mandy McElhinney (Rhonda from the AAMi commercials) has garnered praise for her outstanding performance.
Although the details haven’t been made public, apparently one of the things Gina objected to was her father’s ghost coming back to chat with her, which she assures us did not happen. I for one believe her story, and don’t need a lawyer to convince me. She also says that she never fought with her stepmother, and in fact never spoke to her at all, painting a picture of happy family life in the process.
Despite making sure that House of Hancock came with a disclaimer that it had been fictionalised for dramatic purposes and was not a documentary, Gina Rinehart is still fuming, and will now sue Channel Nine for defamation. No stranger to the courtroom, she mounted an eleven-year legal battle against her stepmother Rose Porteous, claiming that she had hastened Lang Hancock’s death (the coroner determined he had died of natural causes). In turn, Gina has been in a long-running legal feud with her children over the family trust.
So that’s Georgina Rinehart – large, in charge, rich as filth, and liable to sue you if you claim she talks to ghosts and her stepmother.
Name Information Georgina is a feminine form of George. Like its male counterpart, it has been in use for many centuries, but only gained prominence after the House of Hanover began to rule Britain in the 18th century, with George becoming a traditional royal name.
Georgina has been used as a middle name in the royal family – an example is Princess Maud of Fife, grand-daughter of Edward VII. It’s also been used by the aristocracy: Georgina Ward, Countess of Dudley, was one of the great beauties of the Victorian era, while Georgina Gascoyne-Cecil, Marchioness of Salisbury, was the wife of British prime minister, Lord Robert Cecil.
Georgina has been rather a favourite for characters in children’s literature, with the best known perhaps Georgina Kirrin from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series. Georgina is a tomboy who is always called “George”. In the TV series Gossip Girl, the character of Georgina Sparks has been turned into one of the show’s villains; she goes by “Georgie”.
Georgina is an underused classic name which has never left the charts, yet never been popular. It was #171 in the 1900s, and hit its peak in the 1970s at #109 – it may not be a coincidence that the Famous Five series was on TV in that decade. Currently it is around the mid-200s, and I see the name Georgina quite often in birth notices.
Georgina is more popular in the UK, where it is #173 and falling, but doesn’t chart in the US. This gives it a rather “British” feel, although it’s used internationally, including in Spain, the Netherlands, and Central and Eastern Europe.
This is a stylish yet solid choice which has all the advantages of a classic name that doesn’t feel dated, without any popularity to worry about. It has a rather upper middle class image in Australia, but has a number of breezy, carefree nicknames to go by, including George, Georgie, Gia, Gina, Ginny, Gigi, and Nina.