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www.burkeandwills.net.au
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Corner Curlewis and McCallum Streets, Swan Hill , Victoria 3585.

Swan Hill Memorial

ON THIS SPOT, THE RESIDENTS OF SWAN HILL BADE
FAREWELL TO THE BURKE AND WILLS EXPLORING EXPEDITION
12 TH SEPT 1860

ERECTED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION 12 TH SEPT 1914
UNVEILED BY
RIGHT HON. SIR JOHN FORREST K. C. M. G. P. G.
27 TH OCT 1914
NEIL BROWN. PRESIDENT

THE FIRST STEAMERS ON THE MURRAY
THE "LADY AUGUSTA" (CAPTAIN FRANCIS CADELL)
AND THE "MARY ANN" (CAPTAIN WM R RANDELL)
ARRIVED HERE FROM SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 17 TH SEPT 1853

AN EXPEDITION UNDER MAJOR MITCHELL
CAMPED HERE, 20 TH JUNE 1836
AND HE NAMED THE PLACE SWAN HILL

Superintendent Foster recommended Charles Grey to Burke when they lunched at the Lower Murray Inn at Swan Hill. Upon the explorers' death, Foster formed a committee to raise money for a memorial. Foster absconded with the proceeds and a small monument was erected which later fell down.

The Explorers Memorial was unveiled on 27 October 1914 by Lord Forrest to commemorate several expeditions which had passed through the region.

6th November 1945

After the departure of the Burke and Wills Expedition, a committee of townspeople were formed to commemorate the event. The names of the people appointed were Captain Pasco, Superintendent Forster and Dr Gummow.

The obelisk was to be of brick stuccoed with cement. Mr Foster as treasurer of the project, and apparently without the full authority of the committee, instructed Mr Maddern to erect the obelisk with the materials available. The bricks, locally made were of inferior quality, but the work proceeded until a height of seven feet was reached when it had to cease for want of materials.

In the meantime Mr Foster had been severely censured by the Chief Commissioner for some breaches of the Service and was suspended form duty and shrtly afterwards resigned from the service. Inspector H M Chomley relieved Foster at Swan Hill, when Foster departed for Melbourne he took the subscription money with him and Maddern the builder returned to Adelaide in 1862 without getting one penny from the Memorial Committee.

Later, a memorial was built upon the same site.

 

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www.burkeandwills.net.au Burke & Wills Web The digital research archive of expedition records
© 2017, Dave Phoenix