19 March

The anniversary of Sydney Harbour Bridge opening

Bridgetown Daiquiri

So we are drinking a...

Bridgetown Daiquiri

Sydney Harbour Bridge (fondly known as "the Coathanger") opened for public use on this day in 1932. The opening ceremony didn't run quite as smoothly as imagined, though.

Just as the guy with the golden scissors was about the cut the ribbon and declare the bridge open, a man on horseback in military uniform galloped past him, and slashed the ribbon with his sword. The intruder, Francis de Groot was arrested, and after a psychiatric test proved that he was sane, he was found guilty of offensive behaviour in a public place and fined the maximum penalty of £5 and £4 in costs.

Australians threw some spectacular celebrations: a Venetian Carnival, marching bands, decorated floats and a procession of passenger ships under the bridge. Most incredible though was the message read out at the opening ceremony, written by children at a primary school 320 miles away, and brought to the bridge by school children relaying the note.

Celebrate the bridge's birthday tonight by mixing a Bridgetown Daiquiri or even a Kangaroo - perhaps the original name for a Vodkatini.

The anniversary of Pope Francis' inauguration

The world's most famous former doorman, Pope Francis, who worked as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires bar when he was a student, was inaugurated this day in 2013.

Pope Benedict XVI, his predecessor, had resigned, surrounded by scandals from sexual abuse of children through to gay prostitution in the Vatican and stolen letters. Representatives of more than 130 nations came to see the new chap say Mass.

In his first year, Francis relaxed the church's homophobia, saying "Who am I to judge?", and using the word "gay" instead of "homosexual". He chose Lampedusa, an island where boatloads of African migrants arrive in the hope of escaping poverty, for his first formal mass outside Rome.

He has stood up for the environment against market forces; he has abandoned the luxurious Vatican apartments for a second-hand car and a two-room flat; he is using Twitter; and he made Time Magazine's person of the year. We're more Humanist than Catholic but Pope Francis seems to be a force for good. So, we're toasting Il Papa with a Papa Bear.

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