Not a Boxing Fan [...]

In October 1899 the New South Wales parliament debated the institution of “bank holidays” — holidays that when falling on a weekend would be celebrated on the following Monday. Member E.M. Clark was not a fan of the plan in general, but in what seems an attempt to mock the proposal, he argues that Boxing Day should be a bank holiday, postponed until the following Monday, because, among other things, what the heck is Boxing Day about? (Source)

Here is the submitted proposal which he aims to amend:

 1 Clause I. When any of the following days, 
   that is to say, the twenty-sixth day of Jan-
   uary, the anniversary of the birthday of her 
   Majesty or her successor, the first day of 
 5 August, or the anniversary of the birthday 
   of the Prince of Wales, falls on any day of 
   the week other than Monday, that day shall not 
   be a bank holiday, but the following Monday 
   shall be a bank holiday in lieu thereof ; and 
10 the schedule to the Bank Holidays Act, 1875, 
   is hereby amended accordingly. 

Clark proposes that Boxing Day should be added to the list:

He submitted that this was a legitimate proposal. He did not see why we should have a holiday following Christmas Day called Boxing Day. He admitted that he was not a very intelligent man, and was a little bit mixed on many subjects, but he would like to know what Boxing Day really meant. He did not even know why it was called Boxing Day, unless it was because following upon the jubilations of Christmas Day people fell into antagonism and fought with each other, and this was fixed as a special fighting day following Christmas Day.

He thought we might just as well include Boxing Day as any of the other holidays mentioned. In regard to the remarks of the Hon. member for Glebe, he admitted that Christmas Day was a sacred day, and he did not press that proposition. But that argument did not apply to Boxing Day. Christmas Day might fall on Monday and Boxing Day on Tuesday, and according to the argument of the Hon. member for Waratah Boxing Day should be postponed till the following Monday.

Look at the inconvenience to banking business in the case of promissory notes falling due on Saturday, when Christmas Day fell on Monday and Boxing Day on Tuesday. If there was an argument in favour of any of the holidays in the bill being postponed until Monday, it applied equally to Boxing Day. (Source)

Clark’s amendment to the Bank Holidays Bill was answered in the negative.


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