Over 500 people attended last week’s 175th Proclamation Day Commemoration at the Old Gum Tree Reserve, with many more joining the community celebrations afterwards.
After the official reading of the original Proclamation, there were addresses presented by Dr Ken Rollond, His Worship the Mayor of the City of Holdfast Bay; His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, Governor of South Australia; the Honourable Jay Weatherill MP, Premier of South Australia and the Honourable Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia. Welcome to Country and a further Address was given by Kaurna representative Jack Buckskin.
Volunteers from the Fort Glanville Historical Association attended as Fort Glanville Guards and fired a volley as part of the ceremony which certainly woke up the dogs in the neighbourhood!
During the ceremony Kaitlin Bryant presented a posy of native flowers to the Governor of South Australia, Kevin Scarce and Mr William Hindmarsh, Great Great Grandson of Governor John Hindmarsh. Kaitlin is a descendant of Lucy Middleton, who at the first reading of the Proclamation presented a posy of native flowers to South Australia’s first governor, John Hindmarsh.
On 28 December 1836 the document known as the Proclamation of South Australia was first read by George Stevenson, Secretary to Governor Hindmarsh beneath an old gum tree. This was a public celebration to honour the Governor’s arrival in South Australia at Holdfast Bay on HMS Buffalo, as well as the commencement of his new office.
After the proclamation 175 years ago, a cold collation was served. Last Wednesday the City of Holdfast Bay put on a similar spread for the community within the Old Gum Tree Reserve but it also included a BBQ, tea, coffee and cake as well as entertainment by the BordererS, Clown Christoph and face painters.
In addition one could view the 175th Proclamation Day Art Project, a series of imaginative and vibrant artworks created by schools and community groups in collaboration with the City of Holdfast Bay.