Colonel William Light & Fanny Lipson FinnisPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Bryan Cole

The memorial commemorates the centenary of Colonel William Light`s landing at Rapid Bay in 1836. The statue represents Fanny Lipson Finnis, the first European child born in the colony born at Rapid Bay, 2 January 1837. The memorial was originally a fountain. The statue replaces the one which was unveiled on the 28th December 1936. 

There is another centenary memorial located a short distance away from the fountain which appears to have the original plaques on it. 

By 1835, negotiations had been completed for the founding of the new British Province of South Australia, according to the scheme of Edward Gibbon Wakefield, intended as a self-supporting free colony.

Light had given Hindmarsh a letter of introduction to Colonel Charles James Napier, who was the recently designated Governor of the new colony. However, Napier was not interested in the position, and upon hearing this, Hindmarsh rushed to London and lobbied for the position, after seeing Napier in Portsmouth in May 1835. Napier recommended to the authorities that Light be given the post of Governor, but Hindmarsh had already been promised it. Light returned to London in January 1836, and on 4 February was appointed Surveyor-General of South Australia instead.

On 1 May 1836 Light sailed for South Australia with his second wife and some of his survey staff, on the survey brig Rapid, along with the nine other ships in the "First Fleet". The ship reached Kangaroo Island on 17 August 1836. Sailing from Nepean Bay on 23 September, Light started exploring Gulf St Vincent, sailing first past Rapid Bay, then up to Port Adelaide before returning to Rapid Bay, where in the meantime Cygnet had arrived with the assistant surveyors.

Second Valley, December 28. About 200 people gathered in front of the Second Valley Soldiers' Memorial when Mr. D. G. Willis declared the Rapid Bay Centenary celebrations open, and welcomed former residents. In the absence of Mr. P. E. Day   formerly Surveyor-General of South Australia, the Rev. J. C. Jennison, a member of the council of the Memorial Geographical Society unveiled a commemoration fountain erected in an adjacent ornamental park. The fountain is about seven feet high, is set on a rough cast base, and is surrounded by a lily pond. It is surmounted by a figure of a child holding a huge shell on his head from which water flows. This is symbolical of the fact that Second Valley was the birthplace of the first female child to be born in the State. The fountain was erected voluntarily by local residents to the memory of the first Surveyor General Colonel Light. Mr. Jennison referred to incidents of Colonel Light's visit to Rapid Bay.
Advertiser (Adelaide), 29 December 1936.


Address:Finniss Vale Drive, Second Valley, 5204
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.527294
Long: 138.227822
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Government


Front Inscription

Commemorating the landing in 1836 at nearby Rapid Bay, of Colonel William Light who was in search of a suitable site for the proposed City of Adelaide.

The girl depicted in this statue symbolically represents Fanny Lipson Finnis, the first female white child born in the Colony at Rapid Bay.  She was the daughter of Boyle Travers Finniss, Colonel Light`s Deputy Surveyor after whom Finnis Vale, now know as Second Valley was named. 

This statue replaces one erected in 1936 celebrating the 100th anniversary of thse events.

This project was undertaken with funding from the Australian Government through Commemoration of Historic Events and Famous Persons grants program.

Tankalilla District Council
Second Valley Progress Association
Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Inscription in Proximity

Plaque :

To commemorate the The 100th anniversary of the landing of Colonel William Light
1836 - 1936

Plaque :

Also the first white girl born in the Colony
Fanny Lipson Finnis
Rapid Bay, 2nd January, 1837

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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