Daily Update: Thursday, March 31st, 2016

03-31 - César Chávez Day

Alleluia! Today is Easter Thursday, the Fifth Day in the Octave of Easter. With no Saints to honor, we note that today is César Chávez Day.

This day is commemorated to promote service to the community in honor of the life and work of César Chávez (1927 – 1993), Mexican-American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist. It is an official state holiday in California and an optional holiday in Colorado and Texas. Although it is not a federal holiday, 0n March 28th, 2014, President Barack Obama used his authority to proclaim March 31st as the national César Chávez Day, with Americans being urged to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor César Chávez’s enduring legacy.” Grassroots organizations continue to advocate to create a national holiday. In addition, there are celebrations in his honor in Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Mexico and has been observed in California since 1995, in Texas since 2000 and in Colorado since 2003 as state holidays (optional in Texas and Colorado). A state law passed in 2009 (AB 301) requires Nevada’s governor to annually issue a proclamation declaring March 31st as César Chávez Day. Currently, a major obstacle to this day becoming a national holiday is caused by a rule in Congress that prevents bills with national holiday provisions from being introduced. The holiday proposal would need to overcome that obstacle before legislation can be introduced.

Last night our New Orleans Pelicans lost their Pro Basketball game with the San Antonio Spurs by the score of 92 to 100.

I awoke at 7:15 am, and did my Book Devotional Reading. I then put the Icy Hot® Tens Relief thing on my hip, started my laundry, and read the Thursday papers. I then did my Internet Devotional Reading, said the Seventh Day of my Divine Mercy Novena, and said the Sixth Day of my Annunciation Novena. I worked on a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog, then finished my laundry. The Last Quarter Moon arrived at 10:19 am. I then ironed my Casino pants, apron, and shirts, did another Advance Daily Update Draft for this weblog, and posted to Facebook that today is César Chávez Day.

Richard and I left the house at 12:30 pm; at the Hit-n-Run I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for Saturday night’s drawing. We ate Chinese for lunch at Peking, and at Wal-Mart Richard got my salad supplies and some other groceries.

We arrived back home at 1:30 pm, and I continued reading The Wine-Dark Sea by Patrick O’Brian. At 4:00 pm I made my lunch salads for Friday and Sunday, and at 4:30 pm I watched Jeopardy! And I will now get ready for bed. Our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing a home Pro Basketball game with the Denver Nuggets later tonight; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is Easter Friday (Alleluia!), and the Sixth Day in the Octave of Easter. Tomorrow is also the First Friday of the month, dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Tomorrow we have no Saints to honor, but tomorrow is April Fool’s Day. Richard and I will return to the casino for the start of our work week, and on my breaks I will read magazines. Our #15 ranked LSU Tigers will play the first game of a three-game away Baseball series with Auburn; I will record the score of the game in Saturday’s Daily Update.

On this Easter Thursday (Alleluia!) afternoon our Parting Quote comes to us from Betty Churcher, Australian painter and arts administrator. Born as Elizabeth Cameron in 1931 in Brisbane, Queensland, she attended school from age 7 to 15, with her way paid by her grandmother; she left school after grade 10, because her father did not think she needed a higher education. She married Roy Churcher in 1955 and, although she had won a travelling scholarship to Europe and attended the London Royal College of Art, she put her painting career on hold to raise her four sons. Between 1972 and 1975 Churcher was art critic for The Australian newspaper, based in Surry Hills, New South Wales. She received an Master of Arts from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London in 1977.  She was the Dean of School of Art and Design and taught Art History at the progressive Phillip Institute of Technology (now RMIT University) between 1982 and 1987, and director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 1987 to 1990. She left after disagreements with Robert Holmes à Court about the gallery’s acquisition of a Pierre Bonnard painting. She was then appointed director of the Australian National Gallery in 1990. While director of the National Gallery, she was dubbed “Betty Blockbuster” because of her love of blockbuster exhibitions and for her love of movies. Churcher initiated the building of new galleries on the eastern side of the building, opened in March 1998, to house large-scale temporary exhibitions. She changed the name of the Gallery from the Australian National Gallery to The National Gallery of Australia. During her tenure the museum also purchased Golden Summer, Eaglemont by Arthur Streeton for $3.5 million. This was the last great picture from the Heidelberg School still in private hands. In 1996 a portrait of Churcher painted by her son, Peter Churcher, and titled Betty at Home was a finalist in the Archibald Prize. The prize is awarded for the “best portrait painting preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics”. Churcher left the National Gallery of Australia in 1997, and authored several books, including The Art of War (2005) about war artists. Churcher als0 dedicated her time after her retirement to displaying hidden artworks and lesser known acquisitions of the National Gallery of Australia in a television program called Hidden Treasures – Inside the National Gallery of Australia on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2011. Her husband died in 2014 (died 2015): “I remember in that first year at school [there] was a tree down the bottom. The junior school up in the hill and then there was a dip, and the senior school up there. And in the dip was the running course where we used to play. And there was a tree and I used to love… I used to sit in the ‘y’ shape of the branch of this tree. And I remember sitting up there, feeling very happy and pleased with myself, and some children down below in my class taunting me. They were saying, “Betty [Cameron], second last again. Betty [Cameron], second last again”. I wasn’t even last. It was more ignominious than that. And it just dawned on me, “Ah, that’s what it’s about. It’s about achieving”. You – when in exams, I would be there chewing my pencil and looking out the window and, you know, not doing anything, not realising what was expected of me, I think. And I thought, “Oh, I see. Right”. Betty Cameron won’t be last again.”

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