Monday, December 28, 2009

Today is Proclamation Day in Our State.

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
Christian Faith.
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.


  1. Interesting as I know so little about your country. It is good for all to remember what our founding fathers did for our countries.

  2. Manwhile....
    the rest of Australia has a public holiday, coz boxing day fell on a
    you guys down there get ripped off...........
    Poor Milli........................

  3. This was really interesting Milli, I really enjoy learning about the lands, and the history, my multiply friends call home. Is the proper greeting, Happy Proclamation Day?!

  4. Very interesting..thanks for sharing, Milli!

  5. I am glad I shared this Lynda.....and it is good to remember. As you can read we were free settlers here in this state.

  6. LOL we got Saturday for Boxing Day Peter and I got my Saturday shift off LOL...

  7. Happy Proclamation Day is just fine to say.
    We do learn so much from our friends here from across the globe.
    I am enthralled many times over with what I read, see and learn here.

  8. wow... congrats . . . interesting to know. . .

  9. If you would like to read more about the other vessel accompanying the Buffalo then here is a link to the Cygnet...

  10. Very interesting, Milli! I'm sure a good many Yankees are unaware than South Australia was a Free Colony, same as New Zealand. I think there's the image of all of that area as a penal colony when it's not true. Thank you so much for all the information you provide - I find it incredibly interesting! Like the others, I find it fascinating to learn more of the various countries my Multiply friends hail from. Happy Proclamation Day! ;-)

  11. Penal Colony? Yes yes yes of course it was.
    Want to Colonise?
    Hang someone for stealing or poaching a rabbit in Britain.
    Send them to the Colonies for eating a root vegetable belonging to the Master in Britain.
    Progress deemed a change of description for the Americas but the source method remained the same.
    Slavery was all white before the rich got greedy.

  12. Bill South Australia was a Free Colony not a penal Colony...
    "Administration of this free colony was to be shared between the Colonial Office, represented by a Governor in the Colony (Captain John Hindmarsh), and a Board of Commissioners represented by a Resident Colonial Commissioner (Mr James Hurtle Fisher), a Colonial Secretary (Mr Robert Gouger), a Surveyor-General (Colonel William Light), an Emigration Agent (Mr. Brown) and other officials. On December 28th 1836 Hindmarsh was declared Governor of South Australia. Unfortunately a shortage of building materials meant he was denied lodgings in keeping with his position. It seems likely that he stayed on board the HMS Buffalo as many of the letters he wrote during 1837 were written from there."
    You can read more about which states were Penal states from the net..
    As for the prisoners sent here this will give you a clue..
    "While the vast majority of the convicts to Australia were English and Welsh (70%), Irish (24%) or Scottish (5%), the convict population had a multicultural flavour. Some convicts had been sent from various British outposts such as India and Canada. There were also Maoris from New Zealand, Chinese from Hong Kong and slaves from the Caribbean"
    Here is a little more information in regards the non Penal states...
    South Australia, and the Northern Territory of South Australia, never accepted convicts directly from England, but still had many ex-convicts from the other States. After they had been given limited freedom, many convicts were allowed to travel as far as New Zealand to make a fresh start, even if they were not allowed to return home to England.
    To read more here is a link...

  13. The Buffalo did sink a few years later off New Zealand.
    We have a replica of the ship at Glenelg and if you would like to read more then here is the link..

  14. This is a link to info and a drawing of the Cygnet which appears to have an unknown fate..

  15. Thank you Milli I can see the difference, albeit slender.
    A kind of separate status with no freedom to leave.