A new photo from the Powerhouse Museum every day
Due to some great investigative work by one of our Flickr members beachcomberaustralia the mystery of the image above has been solved. We originally posted this image in 2008 with the title Phillip Street, Sydney – Circular Quay with this caption:
If you look at the larger version of this image on Flickr you can see several signs have been placed on the building that reads ‘Many happy returns of the day’. You can clearly see a large group of people gathering out the front of the building and some of the ferries are full of passengers. What was so special about this day?
After some extensive research on Trove beachcomberaustralia has shared his findings:
It was “Anniversary Day” , Thursday 26 January 1888. Now known as Australia Day. The relevant text -
” …LOYAL ORANGE BENEFIT SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA PICNIC
in the AVENUE on ANNIVERSARY DAY JANUARY 26.
POPULAR BRASS BAND, DANCING IN THE PAVILION
Hot and Cold Water Free
… [list of sports] …
9th Race,- Pig Hunt, must be caught by the tail only. [!!]
Steamers Pearl, Rose, and Iris will leave the Floating Jetty
Circular Quay, every half-hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
TICKETS, 1s 6d each. CHILDREN FREE.
Tickets issued for Boxing Day are available. … ”
It seems the Boxing Day picnic might have been cancelled (?) – a close inspection of the banner looks like the words were pasted over. But wait there’s more …
It was The Centennial in 1888. 100 years since the colonization of Australia.
Three days of celebration detailed at too-much-information level in the SMH of 27/1/1888, the following day. On page 8, column 1, about a third down the page, there is a description of the floating jetty at the end of Phillip Street (as in the photo above) nearly capsizing at 11 o’clock. From the shadows this photo was taken a couple of hours later, but it REALLY is quite spooky to read about what we are seeing.
Thank you beachcomberaustralia!
Photography by Henry King
No known copyright restrictions