Andrew Howey from the Melbourne Foundation Day Committee spoke about the association; its difficulties and achievements.
The group was instigated in 1992 by Hedley Elliot, present owner of the property "Emu Bottom", which was built by George Evans. Evans, a builder was amongst the first settlers at Port Phillip, arriving on Fawkner's ship, the "Enterprize" on 30th August 1835.
The committee is made up of volunteers and has included notable historians and patrons including the late Sir Rupert Hamer.
Perhaps its most notable achivement has been the building of the replica of Fawkner's ship, the "Enterprize", at a cost of $2.5 million dollars. Unfortunately lack of sponsorship and the high cost of public liability insurance have left the ship idle at present.
Another creation has been "Enterprize Park", which is opposite the Immigration Museum. A plaque commemorates the site where the first settlers are said to have come ashore. There is a flagpole and it is planned that New York City will fly our flag on 30th August and we will fly their flag on their foundation day.
All primary schools have been given education kits, which have been developed in conjunction with the Melbourne City Council. However the history of the discovery of gold in Victoria seems to captivate the attention of children rather than the story of Melbourne's foundation. There is no website for the Foundation Day Committee.
For the past 4 or 5 years, a Foundation Day debate has proved to be successful. There is a horse race and a church service. Annual dinners are held and prospective sponsors are invited. Vic Roads have car number plates with a picture of a ship, and the name "Enterprize".
To try to attract more interest, the committee has changed its name from Foundation Day to Melbourne Day. Last year 8 Melbourne Day awards were made to members of our city who have made valuable contributions to society.
Andrew Howey considers John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner to be rogues who don't deserve to be called the founders of Melbourne. As neither of them was in the landing party which came ashore on the 30th August 1835, he would prefer the title of founder go to either Captain John Lancey or George Evans. Many people would disagree very strongly with this view, which may partly explain why getting public support has been difficult to achieve.
Contributed by Jan Hanslow ( PPPG Member No. 1057 )
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