Dirk Hartog 400th Celebrations

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 15:45
ThreadID: 133418 Views:3221 Replies:3 FollowUps:4
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Hi there,
As per my previous thread 130505 from last October you may like to consider heading to Denham for the 400th Anniversary Celebrations.

Things are hotting up now, with a lift-out in the paper and the announcement that the original plate is coming to the Maritime Museum.

I know there are still camping spots available in town. If you are lucky you may still be able to get to the island for the ceremony.

The lady at the shire office said they were expecting 5-10 thousand people at the town event.




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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 19:29

Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 19:29
Hello Alan
Two months ago I was visiting Amsterdam and a visit to the Rijiksmuseum to see the Hartog plate was on the agenda.
A thirty minute tram ride delivered us to the museum 45 minutes prior to closing time.
Bought the entry tickets and went to the info desk to find the location of the plate.
After a short conversation the lady tells us the plate left for Australia the day before yesterday.
After generously refunding the entry fee we walked away disappointed.
Now we have an excuse to visit WA before April 2017.
Living is a journey,it depends on where you go !
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Follow Up By: equinox - Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 19:39

Sunday, Sep 11, 2016 at 19:39
ah what a shame Pinko, maybe a blessing in disguise....

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Follow Up By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Monday, Sep 12, 2016 at 07:43

Monday, Sep 12, 2016 at 07:43
Gday Pinko
Just wander off and have another # cookie....I must get some for the coffee club chaps.
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: Maggsie - Tuesday, Sep 13, 2016 at 16:17

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2016 at 16:17
As soon as I read your post I rang my wife who promptly responded; "I told you about that a couple of months ago", funny I didn't remember! We were lucky enough to book a site for the anniversary weekend, so looking forward to that.
Thanks for the "reminder" post.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Sep 13, 2016 at 19:55

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2016 at 19:55
No problems, Not many chances in Australia to celebrate a 400th!!!

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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Sep 15, 2016 at 00:26

Thursday, Sep 15, 2016 at 00:26
Just finished reading a book called "Great South Land" by Rob Mundle.

It's an excellent read about all the early explorers trying to figure out if Australia existed, and where its boundaries were.

Janszoon on the Duyfken (1606) was the first bloke to sight Australia - Hartog was the first to set foot on Australia.

Tasman was the next Dutchman to examine Australia. In 1644, he roamed from Batavia, East out through Ambon, along the South coast of New Guinea, and then turned right into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

He missed Torres Strait and thought New Guinea and Australia were one land.
Tasman went right around the Gulf, followed the entire North of Australia down to NW Cape and then went home. He reported the place was a dead loss.

The VOC was only interested in Australia if it had spices, people they could trade with, food, water - and timber for ship repair. There was none of the previously mentioned, every time they looked.

So the Dutch lost interest in Australia. The country was only a wasteland, as far as they were concerned.
The only residents they found were stone age people who only ever wanted to spear them, so they gave it a miss.

William Dampier was the next bloke who got interested in Australia, in 1699 (he was an Englishman, many people think he was Dutch).
The English sent him out to sniff out the lay of the land, and he did a lot of exploration from NW Cape nearly through to King Sound.

He came across NW Cape, more by good luck than good management, after travelling across the Indian Ocean in the trade winds, after coming around the bottom of Africa.
He was essentially following the known VOC route, but going East as far as he dared, to find the Great South Land, rather than turning North for Batavia as the VOC ships did.

Dampier was a fascinating bloke, very observant - and he recorded everything. The man was a walking encyclopedia.
But he was hampered by a ship that was the equivalent of a rusty FJ Holden with an oil light that won't go off.

The Roebuck was consistently falling apart under him - so Dampier took off from Roebuck bay, over to Batavia via Timor, because he couldn't trust the Roebuck to go any further around the Australian coast.

The Roebuck did eventually did sink right under him, at Ascension Island, in the middle of the Atlantic, when the rotten hull planks finally collapsed completely.
It took a while for him and his crew to get rescued, but they were saved 3 weeks later, by 3 passing English ships.

When he got back to England, the English authorities were really cheesed off with him, they expected a lot of good news and good land reports - which Dampier couldn't provide.

However, Dampier wrote three book of his travels to the countries he'd visited, in particular, Australia - and they were best-sellers.
The printers couldn't keep up and Dampier made some serious money from them.

Best of all, Dampiers writings really fired up the English peoples interest and imagination about what Australia really comprised in total, and where it ended on the South and the East.
In particular, one Captain Cook and a Mr Joseph Banks of the Royal Society took lots of copious notes from Dampiers books, and these were invaluable to these men, when they came across the East Coast of Australia in 1770.

Remember, in the VOC and Dampiers days, this was the time when navigation was hit and miss, latitude and longitude still hadn't been figured out properly, maps and charts were, "make them as you go", weather reports were non-existent - and even accurate clocks were unknown.

They had to wait for more accurate clocks to be made, and for L&L to be figured out, before they could navigate more accurately.
John Harrison didn't produce his excellent marine chronometer until around 1770 - but time-consuming lunar measurements were still used for navigation up until about 1850.

Rob Mundle points out that Dampier circumnavigated the world 3 times in his assortment of leaky old tubs, and recorded vast amounts of marine, geological, botanical and anthropological information, from numerous countries in his travels - with his reports on Australia being of particular interest.

Dampier is credited with contributing 1000 new words and names of items to the English lexicon - and according to Mundle, Dampier would possibly have discovered the East Coast of Australia, if the British hadn't been so miserable, and given him a half-decent ship.
It certainly would have paid dividends for the British if they had supported Dampier thoroughly.
They would likely have had gained an important colony 70 years earlier than they did.

Cheers, Ron
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Follow Up By: equinox - Thursday, Sep 15, 2016 at 09:49

Thursday, Sep 15, 2016 at 09:49
Good summary there Ron.
Here's a photo of the Plaque at Dampier landing on the island.


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