October 11, 1738: On this day, Arthur Phillip was born. He was the first governor of the Colony of New South Wales and a member of the British Royal Navy. From June 1751 to December 1753, Phillip attended Greenwich Hospital School for his education. On the whaling ship Fortune, he later started as an apprentice. Phillip joined the Royal Navy at the start of the Seven Years’ War with France and served as Michael Everitt’s captain’s servant aboard HMS Buckingham. Phillip served alongside Everitt on HMS Union and HMS Stirling Castle. Before being placed on half pay on April 25, 1763, at the end of hostilities, Phillip was promoted to Lieutenant on June 7, 1761. He participated in the war with Spain while being seconded to the Portuguese Navy in 1774. It is Governor Authur Phillip who brought the first vines to Sydney in the year 1788. He became part of the British influence in the New World’s wine industry.

October 11, 1962: On this day, Vatican II was opened. The Second Vatican Assembly, also referred to as Vatican II or the Second Vatican Council, was the Roman Catholic Church’s twenty-first ecumenical council. In the autumn of each of the four years 1962 to 1965, the council convened in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome for four periods (or sessions), each lasting 8 to 12 weeks. From the summer of 1959 to the fall of 1962, three years were spent getting ready for the council. John XXIII, the pope during the preparation and the first session of the council, inaugurated it. Paul VI, who served as pope from December 8, 1965, concluded it (pope during the last three sessions, after the death of John XXIII on 3 June 1963). The Catholic Church updated its liturgy, gave laypeople more responsibility, introduced the idea of religious freedom, and began a dialogue with other religions as a result of Vatican II. In addition, it gave the cup back to the common people, enabling priests to share wine with worshippers as a sacrament.

October 11, 2020: On this day, a bottle of 100-year-old Champagne, salvaged from the wreck of the ship Jönköping, sunk at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for 80 years, was sold by The Wine Auction Room. The vintage, “Heidsieck Monopole Gout American 1907,” is said to be the most costly champagne in the world. It is still available for consumption today, but it is exceedingly rare.

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