Welcome to my first post in a series of stories on sites from Centennial Parklands. A shameless plug goes out to the Paul Ashton, Kate Blackmore and Armanda Scorrano authored book titled “The People’s Park: Centennial Park – A History” which I really enjoyed reading and which directed me to much of the material in this series.
The first image in this series is courtesy of the State Library of NSW and shows the Federation Procession as it moves along Macquarie Street from the Domain in the city. The procession took place on the 1st of January 1901 starting with the chiming of the Post Office tower bell at 10am.
The procession involved 10,000 people and close to 100 horse drawn floats representing military, trade unions, friendly societies, fire brigades, mounted police and the Governor General at the rear.
More than 500,000 people lined the streets to watch the procession, which is a large enough number even before considering the population of Sydney at the time. The march started at the domain, through the city streets, past Hyde Park and up Oxford Street towards Centennial Park. It passed temporary stands and through numerous decorative arches and gates along the way.
It also involved military troops from the British Empire, including an Indian contingent, which were in Australia for the first time in a representative capacity. The procession led to Federation Valley in Centennial Park where more than 60,000 people gathered to witness the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.
Sources: http://www.abc.net.au/ra/federasi/tema1/federation/routemap.html https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/guides-and-finding-aids/federation/part-2-celebrating-federation http://aso.gov.au/titles/documentaries/inauguration-commonwealth/clip1/
Photo courtesy of the State Library of NSW