“We think Australia is the greatest!” said Bill Foggle as he and the other young Latter-day Saints rushed to explain some of the unique and unusual facts about their homeland and its inhabitants.
Australia is the only place in the world where there are four-legged mammals (platypuses) that lay eggs, have bills like a duck’s, and yet are covered with fur. Where other animals hop around on their hind legs and carry their young in pouches. Where birds, like the emu and cassowary, don’t fly. Where the famous koala bear isn’t really a bear at all, but an opossum, and one without a tail at that!
Australia is an island continent about the same size as the continental United States. It is the smallest continent, yet it is the six largest country in the world. It is the only continent that is also a country.
In addition to the whole of Australia’s uniqueness, Sydney, Australia’s largest city, has its own share of “this-is-the-only-place-in-the-world-where’s.” Sydney Harbour is considered the world’s most beautiful deep-water port, and the Sydney Opera House is billed as the most striking building ever created by man. Besides being the oldest city in Australia, Sydney has its own world class harbour bridge and a history that dates back to 1788 and includes a fascinating array of convicts, sailors, and other early settlers.
Young Latter-day Saints in Sydney often meet together to do service projects, work on the local Church welfare farms, participate in sports, and see the sights of their fair city. On this Saturday the young people met at the famous Sydney Opera House, then took the ferryboat across the harbour to Taronga Zoo, where they laughed at the animals’ antics and lunched on meat pies and chips.
From the zoo, the young people caught another boat ride back to the Rocks area on the western shore of Sydney Cove. Here they caught a glimpse of the very early colonial life of the city. After a walk under the bridge and a stop at the Argyle Center to see some aboriginal art and shops featuring Australian sheepskins, pottery, and needlework, the day was gone. Bill and his friends had to hustle back to the opera house parking lot where everyone said their good-byes and ta-ta’s and went their separate ways for home.