On December 31, 2001, we were anchored in the middle of Sydney
Harbour, not far from the Harbour Bridge, for the annual New Year's Eve Harbour
Party. Many hundreds of boats of every description were all around us, and
an estimated one million people lined the shores. As darkness fell, a
water parade of lighted tallships wove through the anchorages. Then at
midnight the fireworks, centered around the Bridge, began.
Every Sydney Harbour celebration always has a theme. For
example, at the millennium fireworks display, the bridge lit up with the word
"Eternity." The 2000 Olympics opening ceremony featured the
lighted welcome "G'day" and the Olympic rings. For New Year's
Eve 2001, the theme was reconciliation with the Australian Aboriginal
community. So at the base of the bridge near the finale of the fireworks
display is the outline of Ayer's Rock, the present cultural and spiritual
Aboriginal center, now officially called by its Aboriginal name Uluru (OO-luh-ROO).
Music is "Absolutely Everybody," by Australian
singer Vanessa Amorosi, from her 2001 CD "The Power."