Celebrating South Australia.


Charles Hill, The Proclamation of South Australia, 1836 (1856), Art Gallery of South Australia

by Alison Painter

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 28 December 1836 some 550 colonists gathered on the shore of Holdfast Bay to hear Captain Hindmarsh read the proclamation authorizing his Commission as Governor and Commander in Chief of the new Province of South Australia.

Entries in the Buffalo log-book give some idea of the events of the day. The morning was moderate and fine with a westerly wind.

In the afternoon the marines and Captain Hindmarsh and other officers landed. A 21-gun salute was fired after the Governor’s Commission had been read and the flag hoisted.

A further 13-gun salute was fired as the Governor left the shore to return to the ship.

Apparently the Aborigines gathered there, not to be outdone, set fire to scrub that, according to a settler, ‘burned grandly’.

The new colony’s inauguration was marked with fireworks!

H.M Cooper, A Naval History of South Australia, Adelaide, 1950, pp.52-3.

Source: 28 December 1836 Proclamation (Celebrating South Australia)