Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Governor Macquarie has arrived!

On the rainy Monday morning of 28 December 2009, Mary and I attended the commemoration of the 200th Anninversary of the arrival of Colonel Lachlan Macquarie, Governor Designate of New South Wales at the entrance to Sydney Harbour.

The event was organised by the Woollahra History and Heritage Society and held at the Signal Station at Watson's Bay, Sydney. It was intended to capture the history of Macquarie's voyage to New South Wales. The president of the Society, Peter Poland, read extracts from the Sydney Gazette and journals and letters of some of the ships' passengers. The Society was also seeking to encourage descendants of the 73 rd Regiment, which travelled to the Colony with Macquarie, to form an assocation.

In 1809, Macquarie and his party [including Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie, Captian John Antill and the soldiers of the 73 rd Regiment, John Thomas Campbell who was to become the Governor's Secretary, and Judge Advocate Designate Ellis Bent] were on board the storeship HMS Dromedary which was accompanied by the warship HMS Hindostan.

Governor's Macquarie's journal of 28 December reads: "At 10 o'clock this morning ..... the Hindostan and the Dromedary anchored within the entrance of Port Jackson... The wind being ahead we could not proceed any further up the Harbour than the entrance".

Upon the arrival of the ships on that December day, the Union flag would have been hoisted up the flagstaff close to the site of the present Signal Station.

On this Monday, 200 years later, the Union flag was again hoisted by Sydney vexillographer, John Vaughan, along with the flag of the Scottish Australian Heritage Society, in honour of Macquarie's Scottish roots.

Lachlan Macquarie eventually landed at Sydney Cove on 31 December and took up his official position as Governor of New South Wales on 1 January 1810. So began on one the most significant periods in the development of New South Wales.

History Services NSW has extensive research material available on Governor Macquarie including a listing of the extensive public buildings and works undertaken by him.

The Bicentenary period of Macquarie's Governship (1810-1821) will see many commemorations of his achievements.

For details of upcoming events go to: http://www.macquarie2010.nsw.gov.au/

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