Fleeters remember Captain Phillip

WALLABADAH stepped back in time at the weekend to commemorate Captain Arthur Phillip’s passing 200 years ago.

AYE AYE CAP'N! Col Worrad from the North West chapter of the Fellowship of First Fleeters from Tamworth was in the spirit. Photos: Barry Smith 310814BSA23

AYE AYE CAP'N! Col Worrad from the North West chapter of the Fellowship of First Fleeters from Tamworth was in the spirit. Photos: Barry Smith 310814BSA23

The commemorations attracted about 300 people from across the region and beyond, including three generations of one family from Brisbane and a family from Western Australia.

Liverpool Plains Shire Council Visitor Information Centre manager Nikki Robertson said they got the numbers she was aiming for and everyone had enjoyed the informative and entertaining day organised by the Liverpool Plains Shire Art Council. 

The guest speaker was University of New England history lecturer Dr Stephen Cuneen, who spoke about Captain Phillip’s achievements, and Denis Smith shared his stories from the Arthur Phillip commemoration events in England, from which he had just returned.

Ms Robertson said the event attracted a lot of Fellowship of First Fleeters groups, with many arriving in period costume.

For those who dressed in the spirit of the day, there was a costume competition and the children were catered for with a treasure hunt.

One of the most popular parts of the day was the message board where descendents of First Fleeters could put their family details and other people could find members of their family.

Ms Robertson said members of the same family had found each other on the day from the board and swapped information and details.

“It was a day where people could exchange information and stories and find out about their First Fleet history,” she said.

The commemoration day was held in Wallabadah because they have the only First and Second Memorial Gardens in Australia.

Ms Robertson said it was possible that an annual or bi-annual event could stem from the weekend’s activities.

“A lot of people are already asking when we will hold it again,” she said.

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