New Farm Park, Brisbane

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

TIME TOGETHER

It was fun to spend time together with old friends from way back. We had our little reunion in Tamworth this year, where Diana and Graham live. They took us sight seeing. The first day we did a country drive from Tamworth in a circuit to Goonoo Goonoo, Wallabadah, Quirindi, Werris Creek and Currabubula. Don't you just love those country town names.
In Wallabadah we stopped at "The First Fleet Memorial Gardens". It was the passion of Ray Collins, to make a memorial for those who were on the first fleet of ships to transport convicts from England, the first white settlers in Australia. The Liverpool Plains Shire Council supported his idea. Collins discovered that he was a descendent of a convict on the first fleet after it had been kept a secret in his family for years. For over a hundred years it was the norm for people to hide the stigma of being a descendent of convicts. However, today it has changed and Australians who can trace their heritage back through many generations to the first fleet are now very proud to be from a line of the oldest Australians. They call themselves "The First Fleeters"
The First Fleet left England May 13, 1776 and arrived in Sydney Cove on Jan 26, 1777 with over 1000 convicts, soldiers, sailors and a few free settlers. It so happens that one of our friends, Dianna, is a First Fleeter. Naturally she was proud to show us the memorial gardens and plaques.
The shade sails over the picnic tables are in the shape of sails of the 11 ships that were in the first fleet.

Dianna and Graham provided us with morning tea.

There is a plaque for each ship and nearby are plaques with the names of all the passengers on that ship. These plaques are scattered throughout the gardens. The flag is a replica of the 'Union Flag' flown by Captain Arthur Philip over the first settlement in Sydney to show that it was a colony of England.

 Dianna shows me the name "Ann Martin" who is one of her forebears. She was transported for stealing 2 scarves. 

 Ann Martin came on the Lady Penryn Ship.

 Bill is reading part of this amazing story.

The story is set out on a huge board.

21 comments:

  1. That's a terrific way to inform and educate people.

    And transportation for a minimum of 'seven years' (ie forever) for stealing two scarves....!!!

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  2. What a wonderful post, Diane. And so interesting that your friend Dianna is a First Fleeter. Travel safe. Jo

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  3. How interesting! I have always wanted to learn more about those first people there.

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  4. I so love the history lesson and what a great place to visit and learn! Even more cool that you had someone with you that was a decedent.

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  5. What an interesting visit Diane, gosh things were tough in those days, imagine being sent to the other side of the world for stealing a couple of scarves!A tad harsh :)

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  6. This is fascinating I cannot believe for only two scarves I always thought it was more serious crimes. WOW. B

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  7. Wonderful post Diane. I'm glad the stigma isn't there any more, people should be very proud. My Dad, being a policeman, and because of his interested in such things, obtained a copy of an old book with so-called 'crimes' that people were sent away for. People were starving but if they stole so much as a loaf of bread they could be imprisoned and sent away. Dreadful! Harsh times indeed.

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  8. I do love the names of all those country towns. The Garden looks like a lovely place to stop for tea and a bit of history to boot. It really is ridiculous the sentences that were handed down back then. I read a wonderful book about those first fleeters, years ago. I wish I could remember the name.

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  9. Really interesting post. The history behind the first settlers is fascinating. To be convicted of such a minor crime is unthinkable these days but to be sent on a ship to the other side of the world in what must have been dire conditions must mean that only the strongest survived.

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  10. Nice place to view history, Diane.. How awesome of Dianna to have a relative in her family who was part of the First Fleet. I am working on some history in my Bruce family --which goes back to Scotland.. SO interesting.

    What was the weather? Some people are wearing long pants and jackets --and then there is a guy in shorts and short-sleeved shirt....????

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  11. A lovely post. I liked the Aboriginal words so much, we have used the word "Billabong" many times when we were at home again. We just liked the sound of it and had a laugh each time saying it. I didn't know the name "First Fleeters" , but I knew Great Britain send their, in their eyes "criminals", by boat to that far country. It must have been a cruel experience for those people.

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  12. Cool post, Diane! It is neat your friend Dianna is a First Fleeter. The memorial gardens are beautiful. Thanks for sharing the history and photos.

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  13. Your history lessons have been very interesting. Have you thought of becoming a tour guide in your spare time?

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  14. Now I would like to visit Tamworth again haven't been there in many years and didn't know about these first fleet stuff there.....

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  15. What a great display in a town I have never heard of. It would be worth visiting there just to see the display.

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  16. This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing this ...I knew a little about this history, but you personalize it and make it real.

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  17. Thanks for this fascinating post about the First Fleet. I have several Australian stamp sets which commemorate the First Fleet.

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  18. Australia is rich in history that I'm guessing a lot of us don't know.
    A wonderful post Diane. I appreciated the lesson.
    Love the shade sails - a very creative idea.

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  19. Not just a great idea, but well executed. The shade-sail arrangement is perfect.

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  20. I dunno what to think of the crimes for which people were transported. It is hard to understand the context of the times.

    Our family convict was a "machine breaker" and poacher. Now it is nice to think of this a political crime from a man displaced by the industrial revolution and catching food to ward off hunger. But it could be just as easily read as a thief and rabble rouser.

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  21. oh cool Here in Christchurch lots of people are proud to be descendants of the 4 ships which arrived here in 1849 They seem to have had a lot of information from the man but not from the woman
    Love the big billboard with the history

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