We are on a holiday here today in South Australia as we celebrate Proclamation Day.
History records that on December the 28th 1836 the vessels Cygnet and Buffalo sailed into Holdfast Bay where upon three boats came into shore containing The Vice Regal Party :
Image Courtesy of the SA State Library.
Read more about the Buffalo here...Buffalo Ship
In the first boat sat Governor Hindmarsh his Secretary George Stevenson and the Resident
Commissioner Hurtle Fisher and their families. In the next boat came the Colonial
Chaplain Rev CB Howard, the Colonial Treasurer Osmond Gilles and others and
in the third boat were 20 marines.With temperatures in the shade hovering around 40C walking across the sand to
the settlement, must have been hot work.
The official party first entered Gouger’s tent where the commission was read and
the oaths administered to the Governor and his Council. They then emerged and
in open woodland, beneath an old gum tree Stevenson read the document
known as the Proclamation of South Australia.I’ll read the Proclamation as it is still read at the ceremony to this day.
Old gum tree image courtesy google images
By His Excellency John Hindmarsh, Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphie
Order, Governor and Commander in Chief of His Majesty’s Province of South
In announcing to the colonists of His Majesty’s Province of South Australia, the
establishment of the Government, I hereby call upon them to conduct themselves
on all occasions with order and quietness, duly to respect the laws, and by a
course of industry and sobriety, by the practice of sound morality and a strict
observance of the Ordinances of Religion, to prove themselves worthy to be the
Founders of a great free colony.
It is also, at this time especially, my duty to apprise the Colonists of my
resolution, to take every lawful means for extending the same protection to the
Native Population as to the rest of His Majesty’s subjects and of my firm
determination to punish with exemplary severity all acts of violence or injustice
which may in any manner be practiced or attempted against the Natives who are
to be considered as much under the safeguard of the Law as the Colonists
themselves, and equally entitled to the privileges of British subjects. I trust
therefore, with confidence to the exercise of moderation and forbearance by all
Classes in their intercourse with the Native Inhabitants, and that they will omit no
opportunity of assisting me to fulfil His Majesty’s most gracious and benevolent
intentions toward them by promoting their advancement in civilization and
ultimately, under the blessing of Divine Providence, their conversion to the
By His Excellency’s Command, Robert Gouger Colonial Secretary God Save the
In 1834, the British House of Commons had already passed ‘A Bill to erect
South Australia into a British Province and to provide for the colonisation thereof.
Therefore this was a public celebration to honour the Governor’s arrival and the
commencement of his new office.
What a Merry Old First Celebration this was, according to this article's description:
"After the proclamation, a cold collation, which included dressed Hampshire ham,
was served. Then with the festivities concluded, the official party retired to the
Buffalo. Now they retire to marquees in Partridge House. All was not jolly after
the official proceedings, the sailors became intoxicated, the aborigines set fire to
the woods and the settlers were disappointed at not being able to go to their
allotments straight away.Such was the first celebration."
So today people go down to the Bay and Celebrate our Proclamation Day...
Glenelg as it is Today....My personal images.