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Proclamation Day in South Australia

 

Proclamation Day in South Australia

South Australia celebrates Proclamation Day to mark the establishment of government as a British province. Captain John Hindmarsh had made the proclamation beside The Old Gum Tree at Glenelg on 28th December 1836. The public statement specified the same safeguard under the law for local residents as for the settlers. Official observances, in which the most senior officials and politicians are involved, followed by public celebrations are being held at the Old Gum Tree at Glenelg on 28th December till date.

Robert Thomas (17821860), from England who had arrived at Holdfast Bay on 8 November 1836, had printed the proclamation. It was Thomas who had first introduced the printing press in South Australia. The first printing press, Stanhope Invenit No.200 was kept on display in the State Library till 2001. Though the officials had given quilled text to Thomas for the proclamation, he had made a more prominent layout for print and his remarkable deed made everyone believe that the document was "The Proclamation of South Australia."

Proclamation Day Celebration

The first celebration of Proclamation Day was very much disappointing. After the official proceedings, the sailors were drunk, the aborigines set fire to the jungles and the settlers were not able to go to their areas.

In Adelaide, on first birthday the Proclamation Day ceremony was celebrated with a dinner for worthies and the same thing was done for some subsequent ones. Now-a-days the commemoration of the Proclamation Day has been limited to only a public holiday and some news paper coverage.

However, in the township of Glenelg, Proclamation Day is being celebrated with lots of enthusiasm. Though on 21st birthday celebration, rain had disrupted all the arrangements, Glenelgians did not deter from commemorating the Proclamation Day.

The formal procedure, sit down lunch and sports activities with the Governor, Premier, Mayor and Councillors, Mayors from other Councils, legislative body of the armed forces and others in crowd- everything as per the tradition of the particular day. The navy also follows all the rules of the ceremony in Glenelg, as navy was the base that strengthened the Colony.

Sports activities, boat races, cruise ships from Port Adelaide, sideshows and delight of the beach are all part of the entertainment on Proclamation Day.

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