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Edwin Hodder.

The history of South Australia from its foundation to the year of its jubilee (Volume 1) online

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tion that Port Adelaide would be the first port in
Australia that the Prince would visit was received with
enthusiasm, and the loyal colonists took steps to give
him as brilliant a reception as possible.

Towards the end of October (1867), when the arrival
of the Prince was hourly expected, beachrangers were
watching day and night on shore, and others in the Gulf,
while the Adelaideans kept their eyes on the signal-
staffs by day, and watched for the booming of cannon
or the blazing of bonfires on Mount Lofty by night.
But, in spite of all this vigilance, the Galatea steamed
quietly up the gulf during the night of the 29th of
October, and came to anchor in Holdfast Bay without
any pilot, and without any visit from those who were
on the look-out to intercept her.

Early next morning the telegraph flashed the news
to the country districts, and all Adelaide and the
suburbs were astir. When the public reception took
place on the 31st, it was calculated that about 35,000
persons were present at different points, to witness or
take part in the procession.

Never had Adelaide seen so great a show. Magnifi-
cent triumphal arches, miles of bunting, forests of
evergreens, acres of red and gold cloth; merry peals
ringing from the bells of the Albert Tower ; the boom-
ing of cannon ; the tramp of volunteers, joined by
the members of friendly societies, the corporations of
Adelaide and other municipalities, and the German
Club ; the clangour of bands of music, the thrilling
voices of 4000 children singing the National Anthem ;
but, more impressive than all, the ringing cheers and
the waving of handkerchiefs, as the first member of the
Royal House of England passed along on Australian
soil. At night there was a general illumination a
display of electric and magnesium lights and fireworks.
Next day the Prince held a Iev6e at Government
House and laid the foundation stone of the Victoria



388 THE HISTORY OP SOUTH AUSTRALIA. [CHAP. XL

Tower of the new post-office, the day's proceedings
terminating with a torchlight procession of 500 Ger-
mans. Great pains had been taken " to render this
demonstration in every respect national ; to include in
it every German institution in the colony ; to have
every German township represented ; and to get every-
thing done exactly as in the Fatherland." This included
transparent lanterns, the singing of the Liedertafel, and
so on, and the whole thing was well done, and appeared
to afford the Prince infinite pleasure.

On the 2nd there was a review of the volunteers and
military on the North Park-Lands, and a presentation
of colours to the Prince Alfred Rifle Volunteers by his
Royal Highness. In the afternoon the Adelaide Ama-
teur Athletic Club gave an excellent display of sports,
and in the evening there was an amateur performance
at the theatre by the officers of the 50th Regiment.
Sunday, the 3rd, was spent by his Royal Highness on
board the Galatea, and Monday was an " open day " so
far as public celebrations were concerned, but steamers
were running from the port to the royal frigate, and
took from 2000 to 3000 visitors to see the Galatea.

On the 5th the Royal Duke laid the foundation stone
of the Prince Alfred (Wesleyan) College, and in the
evening there was a subscription ball in the Town Hall,
at which nearly a thousand people were present. On
the following day Gawler and Kapunda were visited,
and in the evening there was a grand display of fire-
works on Montefiore Hill, near Adelaide.

From the 7th to the 9th, the Agricultural and Horti-
cultural Society held a special exhibition of colonial
products and manufactures, and henceforth the society
adopted the prefix of " Royal " to its title. Over 16,000
persons visited the exhibition.

On the 9th, it being the anniversary of the birthday
of the Prince of Wales, a civic banquet was given in
the Town Hall, at which 500 persons were present, and
on the llth the Duke and his suite left Adelaide for
Lakes Alexandrina and Albert for sport, and returned
on the 16th. Four days later, the Prince left Govern-



1868.] A TRAGIC INCIDENT. 389

merit House for the Port, accompanied by the Governor,
of whose kindness and hospitality the Prince and his
party spoke in the highest terms, and on the 21st the
Galatea steamed down the gulf on her way to Mel-
bourne, leaving the colonists to the reflection that
though the visit of her royal captain had cost the colony
between 20,000 and 30,000 such visits were likely
to be of rare occurrence, and the loyal feelings they
called into existence and fostered were certainly worth
a few thousands, to say nothing of the sights and scenes
they had witnessed and enjoyed during the gay holiday
time.*

On the 12th of March, 1868, intelligence reached
Adelaide of the dastardly attempt of one O'Farrell to
assassinate the Duke of Edinburgh, while attending a
picnic near Sydney. The news created a most painful
sensation ; prayers for his recovery were offered up at
all the churches, indignation meetings were held, and
an address to the Queen was drawn up and bore 63,689
signatures.

The telegrams announcing the Prince's progress
towards recovery were awaited with anxiety, and the
3rd of May, good tidings having been received, was set
apart as a day of General Thanksgiving for the preser-
vation from assassination and for the restoration to
health of the Prince.

The subsequent news of the execution of O'Farrell
brought the tragic incident to a close, and by allowing
the law to take its course, Australians generally felt
they had done all that was in their power to do, to
wash their hands of the foul deed for which they were
in no way responsible.

Throughout the whole period of the preparations and
the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh, Sir Dominick Daly
took an active part, and although it was patent to every
one that he was not in good health, he did not in any
way relax his labours. On the 19th of December he

* Those who are curious in such matters will find elaborate de-
tails of each day's engagements in " The Cruise of H.M.S. Galatea,"
by the Rev. John Milner and 0. W. Briefly. London : 1869.



390 THE HISTORY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA. [CHAP. XI.

brought a long and arduous session of Parliament to a
close by the delivery of a brief speech, in which lie
reminded the members that the session then closing
would probably terminate the existing Parliament, and
that they would shortly be called upon to appear before
their constituents. He congratulated them upon the
Royal visit, and on the loyalty of the colonists ; thanked
the Parliament for the liberal means placed at his
disposal for the reception and entertainment of His
Royal Highness, and then touched in general and
pleasing terms on the measures that had been passed
during the session favourable to the pastoral, mining,
and agricultural interests.

On the 19th of February, 1868, exactly two months
after bringing the session to a close, the tolling of the
large muffled bell in the Albert Tower and the half-
mast-high flag at the entrance to the Government
Domain told the sad tale that the Governor's earthly
career was ended.

For some time previously he had been in a bad state
of health; his lack of colour and of physical vigour
had been noticed by every one, and medical men were
prepared to hear that anaemia was the cause of death.

The end was sudden, and he died literally in harness ;
not only had arrangements been made a day or two
before to hold a meeting of the Executive Council
within an hour or two of the time that he breathed his
last, but he was engaged in public business immediately
before the final seizure.

The funeral took place on the 22nd of February, and,
like the day when Sir Dominick arrived in the colony,
the heat was almost unbearable. Nevertheless, some
14,000 to 15,000 persons lined the route to the ceme-
tery, and, as all that was mortal of the late Governor
was borne along on a gun-carriage and surrounded by
military pomp, there was overwhelming evidence that
his loss was deeply mourned.

An admirable review of Sir Dominick Daly's adminis-
tration was given in the Register, and it expressed
exactly the estimation in which he was held by the



1868.] DEATH OF SIR DOMINICK DALY. 391

colonists from first to last. " Among the finest traits
of an admirable character should be placed the tact and
prudence whereby he averted the threatened calamity
of religious discord. Among the grounds of our regret
for his untimely loss it should not be forgotten what
he suffered in the early part of his career on this point.
His personal amiability and political impartiality soon
lived it down, but while it existed it must have been
a painful obstacle to the usefulness he had so sincerely
at heart. No other person ever took office under such a
seri6us disadvantage. None gained so steadily in public
favour when he came to be known as he really was.
There has been no other of whose career it could so
truly be said that he left none but friends behind
him. . . . Six years ago he came to us a stranger, and
we received him, not without prejudices and misgivings.
To-day we can all of us say in our hearts that we wish
he had been spared many years longer to rule us. In
his quiet, modest fashion, be had lived through much,
learned much, and done a great deal more than the
world gave him credit for. His career was singularly
free from tinsel and dramatic effect, but all who study
his biography will find in it the genuine characteristics
of human worth. Eemembering, as we ought, the
peculiar difficulties of his position, we cannot be too
grateful for the peace and prosperity which have
attended his rule."



END OF VOL. I.



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Online LibraryEdwin HodderThe history of South Australia from its foundation to the year of its jubilee (Volume 1) → online text (page 34 of 34)