PROSERPINE – WHERE IS THAT, PROSERPINA?
Proserpine Qld Australia is a charming and bustling town in sugar cane country. This is significant later.
Proserpina (for whom Proserpine is named) was a Roman Goddess of Grain and Agriculture. There was a merger between her cult and that of the Goddess of Booze (sorry Wine) Libera around 204BC. SO booze, bread and meat – my kind of Goddess!
This is not, however, significant for Prosepine’s the town’s fortunes.
IS IT REALLY THERE?
I would be a bit miffed if I was a Proserpinian to know that on some maps like this Lonely Planet one, Proserpine doesn’t get a mention.
There is a challenge at the end of this BLOG to locate this lovely spot.
Proserpine has all manner of attractions and an 18 hole golf course.
It was home to 3500+ people in the 2016 census.
WHAT IS NEARBY THEN?
The more glamorous Airlie Beach is given pride of place as the ‘gateway to the Whitsundays region’.
Airlie Beach is also the town that hosts live cane toad races on Thursday night @Magnum’s Hotel – so glamour is in the eye of the beholder I guess.
A separate but gripping tale of ‘invasive calamity’ can be told about the cane toad’s introduction into North Queensland’s sugar cane fields in 1935. But that is only significant to the cane toad, the sugar beetles eaten and the sugar cane that grew and grew.
The significance of foolish actions is a stark reminder with the mighty and largely indestructible cane toads happily hopping their way towards Sydney, NSW and Darwin,NT.
(Take a look on the map folks.)
DID THEY KNOW? DID THEY CARE?
Did the namers of this town know about the connection of Proserpine, the Goddess of Booze, Bread and Meat to April Fool’s Day?
Sadly, none of them would still be alive (probably) to ask. Proserpine was founded in 1890 and any of the founders would be a tad too old to care now.
FINALLY – WHERE DOES APRIL FOOL’S DAY COME IN?
So one of the more gripping theories of the origin of April Fool’s Day centres on our Goddess of Booze, Bread and Meat. She was forcibly abducted by Pluto, God of the Underworld.
Her mother, Ceres, searched for her in the vast expense of the Pluto’s place down there but could only hear the voice of her daughter.
She couldn’t find our Proserepina despite searching for….. well I don’t know how long poor Ceres roamed around the Underworld looking for and only hearing our Booze Goddess.
Presumably, Ceres is still looking and this devotion to a fruitless search developed into the idea of a fool’s errand – hence April Fool’s Day.
ANOTHER DODGY CONNECTION
Returning to our theme of Proserpina’s more respectful themes of Wine, Grain and Agriculture.
There was a Roman Festival ‘Hilaria’ which marked the beginning of spring. These festivities usually involved ritualized forms of mayhem and misrule according to the Museum of Hoaxes.
So our Proserpina, Goddess of Booze, Bread and Meat could well have been an integral part of the making of good cheer and drinking of good booze.
WHAT ARE YOUR CONSIDERED OPINIONS?
- Lack of preparation?
- Did she rehearse before?
- Did she let the intimidation of the venue overwhelm her?
- Breathing, stance, voice projection – I can’t assess from this distance in time and reality BUT…. I look forward to hearing your comments below….
NOW! Competition time.
Please hand draw a map of where you might think Proserpine is in Queensland!
I know it is there and yes, I have visited and yes, I have watched a live cane toad race.
OR hand draw where Proserpine should have been located in Ancient Rome.
Prizes will be judged on:
- actually submitting a hand-drawn image of some sort
- your level of wild speculation and
- inventiveness if Rome is your choice of location.
Your prize will be 30 mins of consultation with me about finding your voice and gaining confidence to talk to anyone anytime you want or need to.
Maximum 3 on offer – Skype or Zoom or… in this contactless world we inhabit at present.