MELBOURNE - SYDNEY RIVALRY

( FROM THE VERY BEGINNING )


My great-great grandfather, James Hacking, his wife Elizabeth Bayes, their children William (11), James (9), George (4) who was my great-grandfather, Elizabeth (2) and baby Margaret, and Elizabeth's father, William Bayes, arrived in Port Phillip ( which then had a population of some 76,000 ) on 11th November, 1850. During their voyage on the ship "Courier", they were chased by pirates off the Cape Verde Islands only evading capture after a pursuit of five days. Their arrival, too, was exciting as it coincided with receipt of the news of Separation. The "Argus" on the day they arrived advised that a royal salute was to be fired at noon that day and was to be answered by all vessels in Hobson's Bay. The news would be spread by beacons.

The "Argus" for Thursday 14th November, 1850 states that the intelligence of Separation was known on 11th November by the "Lysander" which came via Adelaide, and was generally known Tuesday 12th. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were to be public holidays and the paper would not appear again until 19th November. The Rejoicings Committee was to meet and there would be illumination of buildings, transparencies and fireworks on Wednesday, Divine Service on Thursday, and the opening of Prince's Bridge on Friday.

The "Argus" for Tuesday, 4th December, 1850, reveals that interstate rivalry started early. A dispatch from Sydney states: "We have been a good deal amused here by your account of the Separation festivities, and more especially by your description of some of the transparencies wherein the ruin of Sydney is predicted as an unavoidable consequence of its severance from Port Phillip. So far from feeling despondency, our mercantile men are of the opinion that Sydney will gain by the change".

Contributed by Judy Philip ( PPPG Member No. 1033 )


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