Blog Archives

Men of Renown


In 1927 the HMS Renown conveyed Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) and Elizabeth, Duchess of York (later best known as The Queen Mother) to Australia for the official opening of the new Parliament House in Canberra. From 1901 until 1927 the Australian parliament had met in Melbourne where it had used the Victorian Parliament House building before the move to Canberra.

While the HMS Renown was in Sydney the Concord Ex Service Men’s Social Club (RSL) hosted a ‘Smoke Social and Dinner’ for officers and ratings of HMS Renown on the 11 April 1927. It was an opportunity for the local RSL to return the hospitality shown to many Australian servicemen on leave in London during the First World War. The dinner included songs and recitations. Among the performers was George McGregor Shaw, Town Clerk of Concord, a man of many talents (see comments below) including a gift for singing.

Eadith Walker of Yaralla also hosted a rifle team from the HMS Renown who competed against the Miniature Rifle Union team at the estate’s miniature rifle range.

A Canadian connection

Marceau House (Small)

In 1837-1838 revolts in Lower Canada (Quebec) by Patriotes over grievances against British rule were severely crushed. Some rebels were executed and others sentenced to transportation. In 1840 the ship Buffalo transported 91 English speaking rebels to Port Arthur in Tasmania while 58 French speaking Canadians were sent to Longbottom Stockade, a convict depot near the present site of Concord Oval.

The good behaviour of the French Canadians led to free pardons being granted between November 1843 and February 1844. All except Joseph Marceau opted to return to their homeland. Marceau was a widower at the time of his transportation. In 1844 he married Mary Barrett and settled at Dapto where he lived until his death in 1883, aged 77 years.

Recently, Pierre Marcoux in Canada kindly sent a photograph of Joseph Marceau’s home in Saint-Cyprien-de-Napierville, Quebec (above) to Canada Bay Connections. Pierre also donated images of The Patriots Monument, C├┤te-des-Neiges Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec which includes the name of Joseph Marceau. In Concord, Marceau Drive is named after him.

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the Canadian Exiles in Australia.

Drummoyne Oval

SCAN0416 (Small)

An early photograph of Drummoyne Oval has recently been added to Canada Bay Connections.

Thanks to Phil Harvey (see comment below), the photograph has been identified as being taken prior to 1920 and shows the original grandstand.

The ‘Sports’ of the photograph is, of course, Rugby. Drummoyne Park was used for rugby games as early as 1882 when the area was part of William Wright’s estate.

Kevin Stutchbury kindly lent the photograph so it could be scanned and added to Canada Bay Connections.