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First Fleet Memorial
First Fleet Memorial

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

Sculpture known as "The Bonds of Friendship" commemorates the First Fleet of eleven ships which brought to Australia the first European settlers under the command of Captain Arthur Philip. It is a companion piece to one erected at Portsmouth Harbour, England.

The Bonds of Friendship sculpture was originally erected outside Customs House, Circular Quay but now resides in the Jesse Street Gardens, just near Macquarie Place, Sydney.

Symbolically, the chain extends from Portsmouth to Sydney over the route travelled by the First Fleet. The last two links of the chain form the memorial at Circular Quay and cement the bonds of friendship between Britain and Australia represented by Portsmouth and Sydney. The surfaces of the sculptures are also rich in symbolism; the Portsmouth one has a dull painted surface to denote the ‘old country’ and the links of the chain in Sydney are highly polished brass to represent the ‘new country’.

The First Fleet sailed from England on 13 May 1787, carrying more than 1,500 people, and arrived at Botany Bay eight months later, on 18 January 1778. Governor Arthur Phillip rejected Botany Bay choosing instead Port Jackson, to the north, as the sight for the new colony; they arrived on 26 January 1788. The Fleet consisted of two naval escorts, HMS Supply and the flagship HMS Sirius, carrying the Governor; six convict transports, the Alexander, Charlotte, Friendship, Lady Penrhyn, Prince of Wales and the Scarborough; and three storeships the Borrowdale, Fishburn and Golden Grove.

Location

Address:Loftus Street, Jessie Street Gardens , Sydney, 2000
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.862192
Long: 151.210425
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Landscape
Sub-Theme:Discovery
Monument Designer:John Robinson
Link:http://www.acph.nicheit.com.au

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 17th September, 1980
Front Inscription

FIRST FLEET MEMORIAL.

THIS MEMORIAL COMMEMORATES THE VOYAGE AND ARRIVAL IN SYDNEY OF THE FIRST FLEET WHICH BROUGHT TO AUSTRALIA ITS FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLERS UNDER THE COMMAND OF CAPTAIN ARTHUR PHILLIP, R.N. THE FLEET SAILED FROM PORTSMOUTH ON 13TH MAY 1787 AND ANCHORED IN SYDNEY COVE AT A SPOT JUST NORTH OF THIS MEMORIAL ON 26TH JANUARY 1788. THE FLEET COMPRISED ELEVEN SHIPS: H.M.S.SIRIUS FLAGSHIP, H.M.S.SUPPLY AN ARMED TENDER, SIX TRANSPORTS ALEXANDER, LADY PENRHYN, CHARLOTTE, SCARBOROUGH, FRIENDSHIP, AND THE PRINCE OF WALES, TOGETHER WITH THREE STORE SHIPS FISHBURN, GOLDEN GROVE AND BORROWDALE. AT DEPARTURE THEY CARRIED A TOTAL COMPLEMENT OF ABOUT 1487 WHO EMBARKED AT PLYMOUTH, PORTSMOUTH AND THE THAMES.

THE PLINTH OF THE MEMORIAL WAS DONATED BY THE FELLOWSHIP OF FIRST FLEETERS, ALL OF WHOM ARE DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF THOSE WHO ARRIVED WITH THE FIRST FLEET. THE GRANITE BLOCK ABOVE THE PLINTH WAS QUARRIED AT DARTMOOR, ENGLAND, AND DONATED TO THE CITY OF SYDNEY BY THE CITY OF PORTSMOUTH AS A RETURN GIFT FOR A SIMILAR BLOCK OF GRANITE FROM N.S.W., GIVEN TO THEM BY THIS CITY. IT WAS SET IN PLACE BY THE LORD MAYOR OF SYDNEY ON THE 2ND JULY, 1980.

THE SCULPTURE, BONDS OF FRIENDSHIP, WAS PRESENTED BY THE BANK OF N.S.W. IT IS A COMPANION PIECE TO ONE ERECTED BY THE LORD MAYOR`S AUSTRALIAN SETTLERS COMMEMORATION COMMITTEE OF PORTSMOUTH AND WHICH IS LOCATED NEAR THE SALLY PORT AT PORTSMOUTH HARBOUR THROUGH WHICH CAPTAIN PHILLIP AND MANY OF HIS FELLOW VOYAGERS PASSED ON THEIR WAY TO EMBARK.

THE BONDS OF FRIENDSHIP SYMBOLISES THE CLOSENESS OF THE TIES THAT WERE FORGED BETWEEN PORTSMOUTH AND SYDNEY AS A RESULT OF THE VOYAGE OF THE FIRST FLEET AND REPRESENTS LINKS IN A CHAIN JOINING BOTH CITIES. IT WAS DESIGNED BY JOHN ROBINSON. THE DONOR, THE BANK OF NEW SOUTH WALES WAS THE FIRST BANK AND THE FIRST CORPORATION ESTABLISHED IN AUSTRALIA.

THE BONDS OF FRIENDSHIP WAS UNVEILED ON THE 17TH SEPTEMBER, 1980, BY HIS EXCELLENCY SIR ZELMAN COWEN, A.K.,G.C.M.G.,G.G.V.O.,K.S.T.J.,Q.C.
GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF AUSTRALIA.
ALDERMAN NELSON MEERS LORD MAYOR  
L.P. CARTER O.B.E. TOWN CLERK

Source: H, ACPH, MA
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