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22-May-2012 (Graeme Saunders)
22-May-2012 (Graeme Saunders)

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders / Sandra Brown

The monument commemorates George Bass, the visits of Lieutenant James Grant and Lieutenant John Murray, the French expeditions of Nicholas Baudin and Dumont Dúrville, and the settlement of Fort Dumaresq on this site.

A plaque was added to the memorial in 2001 to commemorate the bicentenary of the landing of Lieutenant James Grant and the mapping of Western Port by Francis Barreillier. 

The State Governor and party unveiled at Rhyll, the little fishing village on the eastern shores of Phillip Island, a memorial cairn erected by subscriptions from islanders and visitors in co-operation with the national parks committee and the Department of Public Instruction, represented by Mr. A. Long, M.A.- The inscription on the plate reads: —

To commemorate the discovery of this port by Surgeon George Bass, 4th January, 1798, and the visits paid by Lieut. James Grant, March, 1801, Lieut. John Murray, December, 1801, French expedition under Capt. Baudin, April, 1802, and Capt.d'Urville, 1826.

Lord Stradbroke eulogised the hardihood and courage of the early explorers and the wonderful progress and development of Phillip Island, which he regarded as having an exceptional future.  In the evening the Governor entertained at dinner at the Isle of Wight Hotel, Cowes, 35 soldiers and soldiers' fathers. The function was a success. The presentation of 50 fine views, of Phillip Island and Westernport, in a specially inscribed album, was made to the Governor by Mr. E. V. McHenry. 
Age (Melbourne, Vic), 20 February 1923.  


Address:Beach Road, near Jetty, Rhyll, 3923
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.465525
Long: 145.308683
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Approx. Event Start Date:1801
Approx. Event End Date:1826


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 16th February, 1923
Front Inscription

To Commemorate The Discovery Of This Port
By Surgeon George Bass 4 Jan 1798
And The Visits Paid By
Lieut James Grant March 1801
Lieut John Murray Dec 1801
The French Under Capt Baudin April 1802
And Capt D`Urville Nov 1826
Also The Establishment Of The Temporary Settlement
Fort Dumaresq Dec 1820

Plaque :

To Commemorate The Bi-Centenary
Of The Landing Here Of 
Lt. James Grant From The Brig, The Lady Nelson, 
On 22nd March, 1801
And The Mapping Of Western Port By
Ensign Francis Barreillier  

Placed by The Bass Coast Shire community 2001

Left Side Inscription
George Bass, aged 27, surgeon of H.M.S. Reliance
was authorised by Governor Hunter to take
six seamen and six weeks provisions in a 
27 foot 8 inch whaleboat to explore the coast
south of Sydney and as far as he could go with
safety and convenience.
They left Sydney at 6pm on Sunday December 3rd 1797. 
They reached this point Rhyll on Jan 18th 1798. 
George Bass sailed from Port Jackson
to South America in 1803. 
He disappeared and his fate remains a mystery. 

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