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Admiral Bruni D`EntrecasteauxPrint Page Print this page

DEntrecasteaux Monument
DEntrecasteaux Monument

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Kent Watson

A monument commemorates Admiral Bruni D`Entrecasteaux, an early French explorer who sailed along this coast.

The French explorer, Bruni D`Entrecasteaux, was the first European to discover the channel separating Bruny Island from the mainland. In 1792 D`Entrecasteaux`s expedition sailed up the channel, now bearing his name, charting the coastline & naming features. He named the large bay at the top of the channel, North West Bay. The expedition anchored there to collect fresh water. Many aborigines were observed in the area.

The Bruni D`Entrecasteaux voyage had another purpose beyond the rescue of La Perouse. At the behest of the fledging Société D`Histoire Naturelle, the voyage was also invested with the task of recording and documenting the environment and the people of the new lands that they encountered. The expedition carried scientists and cartographers, gardeners, artists and hydrographers - who, variously, planted, identified, mapped, and marked the countries that they visited. They first visited the southern region of Tasmania in April 1792, and, desperate for water, they harboured in a bay that they later named Recherche Bay, after one of their sailing ships.

Before they departed Recherche Bay, the gardener on board the expedition, a young man called Felix Delahaye, marked out a line of stones, and planted a vegetable garden - hoping that the tradition of European agriculture would flourish, and feed the peoples of the distant country. Nine months after they resumed their search for La Perouse, Bruni D`Entrecasteaux and his fleet returned to southern Tasmania. During this visit, in 1793, they met with the local Indigenous people of the area. They also made some of the earliest ethnographic records of the language and culture of Tasmanian Aboriginals.

D`Entrecasteaux to many is merely a name. To those who witnessed the unveiling by the Governor (Sir Ernest Clark) of the monument at Gordon yesterday to perpetuate the memory of Rear-Admiral Bruni D Entreçasteaux, the French navigator and explorer, who, in 1792, sailed up and anchored in the channel which later was to bear his name, the word symbolises the discovery of Huon and Channel districts 146 years ago. The ceremony which was brought about by the cooperation of the Huon, Kingborough, Esperance, and Cygnet Municipal Councils, in conjunction with the Tasmanian Society was made impressive by a naval guard of honour, formed by the men of the French sloop Rigault de Genouilly which was anchored in the Channel, and the Tasmanian division of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve.
The Mercury (Hobart) 19th February 1938.

 

Location

Address:Esplanade, Gordon, 7150
State:TAS
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -43.268334
Long: 147.24185
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Discovery
Approx. Event Start Date:1792
Approx. Event End Date:1793

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 18th February, 1938
Front Inscription

To commemorate the visits to Tasmania in 1792-93 of Rear Admiral Bruni D`Entrecasteaux whose expedition discovered the Derwent River, Bruni Island, D`Entrecasteaux Channel, Port Cygnet, Port Esperance, Huon River and other inlets.

Unveiled by H.E. the Governor of Tasmania, Sir Ernest Clark K.C.B, C.B.E. in the presence of representatives of the French Nation on Friday, Feb 18th 1938

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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