Sunday, January 25, 2009

Australia Day or Invasion Day

from w
Today's a holiday and named as Australia Day by many, and Invasion Day by others, as they think of the arrival of pale-faced visitors to the shores. David Collins has written a first-hand informative account of this and here is an exccerpt.
An Account of the English Colony of NSW Vol 1

An excerpt

The governor, with a party of marines, and some artificers selected from among the seamen of the Sirius and the convicts, arrived in Port Jackson, and anchored off the mouth of the cove intended for the settlement on the evening of the 25th; and in the course of the following day sufficient ground was cleared for encamping the officer's guard and the convicts who had been landed in the morning. The spot chosen for this purpose was at the head of the cove, near the run of fresh water, which stole silently along through a very thick wood, the stillness of which had then, for the first time since the creation, been interrupted by the rude sound of the labourer's axe, and the downfall of its ancient inhabitants; a stillness and tranquillity which from that day were to give place to the voice of labour, the confusion of camps and towns, and 'the busy hum of its new possessors.' That these did not bring with them, 'Minds not to be changed by time or place,' was fervently to have been wished; and if it were possible, that on taking possession of Nature, as we had thus done, in her simplest, purest garb, we might not sully that purity by the introduction of vice, profaneness, and immorality. But this, though much to be wished, was little to be expected; the habits of youth are not easily laid aside, and the utmost we could hope in our present situation was to oppose the soft harmonising arts of peace and civilisation to the baneful influence of vice and immorality.
In the evening of this day the whole of the party that came round in the Supply were assembled at the point where they had first landed in the morning, and on which a flag-staff had been purposely erected and an union jack displayed, when the marines fired several vollies; between which the governor and the officers who accompanied him drank the healths of his Majesty and the Royal Family, and success to the new colony. The day, which had been uncommonly fine, concluded with the safe arrival of the Sirius and the convoy from Botany Bay--thus terminating the voyage with the same good fortune that had from its commencement been so conspicuously their friend and companion.
The disembarkation of the troops and convicts took place from the following day until the whole were landed. The confusion that ensued will not be wondered at, when it is considered that every man stepped from the boat literally into a wood. Parties of people were every where heard and seen variously employed; some in clearing ground for the different encampments; others in pitching tents, or bringing up such stores as were more immediately wanted; and the spot which had so lately been the abode of silence and tranquillity was now changed to that of noise, clamour, and confusion: but after a time order gradually prevailed every where. As the woods were opened and the ground cleared, the various encampments were extended, and all wore the appearance of regularity.
The whole book can be read on-line for a detailed description of the early 'white' settlement of Sydney.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home