You may or may not have heard the news: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has grand plans to “rediscover” Captain James Cook by having a replica of the Endeavour circumnavigate the country next year in celebration of the anniversary of his maiden voyage.
According to Morrison, Cook was an enlightened man and although some of the stories of his past are “hard”, some are also “magnificent”. And the Prime Minister, for one, has plans to tell them all.
Now, it’s no surprise this $6.7 million dollar project has been met with some concern. Most notably, there was some confusion surrounding Morrison’s suggestion the replica voyage was a “re-enactment” of Cook’s own journey. The problem with this, of course, is that while Cook chartered the east coast, he did not circumnavigate Australia.
That title belongs to one Matthew Flinders.
According to ABC News, Morrison later cleared up the misunderstanding, stating: “Yes, it does retrace the steps obviously when we go up the east coast, which is what I was referring to this morning.”
Unfortunately, this comment came a little too late – #ThingsCookDid began trending on Twitter, with citizens showing their distaste at the project’s high price tag and slamming the PM with accusations of historical misunderstanding in the best way possible.
Regardless of the truth (classic journalism), the tweets were too hilarious: here’s the best of them for your viewing pleasure:
Captain James Cook made 3 voyages and was killed during one of them.
Was it voyage 1, 2 or 3?#ThingsCookDid
— Leo Jai (@lionheartleojai) January 23, 2019
Invented the Australian Crawl swimming stroke. Also played bass in band of same name until artistic differences with James Rayne led him to going solo. #ThingsCookDid
— PresidentBushranger (@grumpyshortpant) January 22, 2019
After Captain Cook bravely introduced Medicare it was a shame he was ineligible for it as he was un-Australian.
So he ended up in a sandwich in Hawaii. Sad. #ThingsCookDid
— SunAndSaltWater (@CaroKearney257) January 22, 2019
— #ThingsCookDid – jansant (@Jansant) January 22, 2019
Pegged a cask of Fruity Lexia to the Hills Hoist and played Goon of Fortune #thingscookdid
— C Bailey (@Fathairylazy) January 23, 2019
He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.#ThingsCookDid
— Maria (@MLolderandwiser) January 23, 2019
Cook was the first explorer to fully embrace Climate Change by insisting he only travel in an emission-neutral vehicle powered purely by wind. Many at the time said it simply couldn't be done without coal. #ThingsCookDid
— Richard Foote 🇦🇺 (@richardfoote) January 22, 2019
He started the NBN rollout. It’s nearly finished now … #ThingsCookDid
— Ebony (I format books too) McKenna (@EbonyMcKenna) January 22, 2019
Cook famously won the First Australian Open at Wimbledon. #ThingsCookDid
— Da Muppet Show (@geeksrulz) January 22, 2019
I’ve never forgiven Cook for sacking Whitlam.
— Simon (@mondoworld) January 22, 2019
#thingscookdid named places that already had names.
— Perkins Dixon (@Katieisfree) January 22, 2019
Cook successfully circumvented circumnavigating Australia#ThingsCookDid
— TimeStorm (@StormingTime) January 23, 2019
#ThingsCookDid invented cooking, which is how it got its name
— Ms Deborah (@Helishingly) January 22, 2019
Speaking of the project, Morrison said: “That’ll be great for tourism and it will also be a great opportunity just to talk about our history – the view from the shore, the view from the ship – and very much understanding those two stories.”
We can only hope he’s right!