Thursday, 4 June 2009

Happy Birthday Queensland

The image at left shows Queen Street ca 1859, taken from the Edward St end looking toward George St. There's a bar now where the horse and cart is (the place with the blue neon hidden among the trees here. I can't remember its name, but it's a nice spot.

A surfeit of Queens

As an entity, Queensland is 150 years old today. At one stage, the entire eastern half of Australia was New South Wales.

You wouldn't think it to look at these days, and very few locals have an interest in it, but Brisbane has a rather interesting history. "Drive your cart and your plow over the bones of the dead" could well be the city's motto. It is always being knocked down and rebuilt. A place of energy, people are always looking for and being distracted by the next shiny thing.

I'll write something about Brisbane at some stage, or some othe place in QLD. I'm a bit pushed for time at the moment though, so this post is a just a nod to my home state. Many happy returns.

Here's an article from the Moreton Bay Courier (20 July 1859) telling us why the names of Moreton Bay and Brisbane should be changed. The image is scanned from the Historic Australian Newspapers database .
I've copied it:
IT has been wisely said, that "a multi-tude of counsellors darken wisdom;" and as we have no desire to cloud the horizon of our new colony, we make the following suggestion in all humility. We presume that the question as to which is to be the capital of the district has long been settled. The position of Brisbane - its nearness to the Bay, its possession of the Government offices, and its age, will certainly enable it to take rank as tho capital.
We have no wish to help to erect such a capital as shall prevent our Ipswich friends from sharing in our glories,or rising in importance as fast as she can. Our idea is simply that as we borrowed our starting name from a past Governor,and the name of our Bay from a navigator; and that, as the Colonial Office has been pleased to call our colony by the euphonious name of Queensland, that we should endeavor to harmonise the names,and make a similarity to prevent misunderstanding.
We therefore propose, with all modesty, that the name of the Bay be Queensbay, and that the name of the capital be Queenstown or Queensburgh,whichever it may please the people to assent to; but that in no wise would we permit the capital of Queensland to retain the name it at present bears. A friend of ours has been very witty in accounting for the discarding of tho name of Cooksland in its application to the colony. He says that name smells too strongly of the kitchen; and that the name given by the Colonial Secretary is far more appropriate.

Without wishing to cast any slur upon the men whose names have at present figured largely in our district cognomens, We think Queenstown or Queensburgh, better suited as the name for the capitalof Queensland than Brisbane. And to remove any jealousy for the honor of names in the minds of those who may fancy the names of Cook and Brisbane, we propose that justice be done by erecting suitable monuments to their memory, which will satisfy that, in consulting ourfuture advancement, we honor those whose names were mixed with our early struggles.
Needless to say, these suggestions fell on deaf ears.