Centenary of Edmund Kennedy ExpeditionPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Russell Byers

The cairn commemorates the centenary of the landing in the area of explorer Edmund Kennedy and his party in 1848. 

Tribute to Kennedy Unveiled at Cardwell.
CARDWELL, May 22.— Members of the Celebration Committee were early astir today to put the final touches to the arrangements for the great gala day, to commemorate the landing of the explorer, Edmund Kennedy. Cars and trucks came from near and far and two excursion trains, one from Ingham and one from Innisfail, brought hundreds of visitors. At 10.30a.m. there were crowds round the cairn to witness the official unveiling of the memorial to a great and gallant explorer. Councillor Hort (Deputy Chairman of the Cardwell Shire) introduced the speakers and visitors.  The visitors included Mrs. Henry Robertson, President of the Queensland branch of the Royal Geographical Society, and Mr. D. A. O Brlen honorary secretary. The ceremony marked the centenary of the landing at Rockingham Bay by Kennedy and his party on May 24 (Empire Day), 1848.

Mr. Theodore (M.L.A.) gave a short address in which he thanked the Committee and the Cardwell Shire Council and the public for their great organisation in preparing for the day and reminded them that the memorial was to commemorate the deeds of a great explorer, Edmund Kennedy. Mrs. Robertson then spoke and gave a short outline of the voyage of the explorer and his party to Cape York. Councillor Dickinson (Chairman of the Cardwell Shire Council) then spoke and called upon Mr. Hort to officially unveil the memorial. Mr. Hort gave a short address before doing so.

The memorial is of a pyramid style with a base or five feet and is 12 feet in height surmounted by a bronze plate on which is the following inscription: 'To commemorate the centenary of the landing of Edmund B. C. Kennedy and his party within two miles of this cairn on June 26, 1848 (sic), while on the fateful Journey to Cape York.' The procession then left from the R.S.S.A.I.L.A. hall led by the combined bands and then came Councillor Dickinson and visitors, 20 aborigines in war paint and natural dress, the C.W.A. float, the Cardwell Sports Club, the Kennedy Expedition float, the A.L.P., R.A.O.B., the Ambulance and the Kennedy landing craft.

The procession proceeded to the Park where a sports programme was held and also a may pole dance performed by the Cardwell State School children and Miss Janice Cahill was adjudged Queen of the May. The aborigines also staged a corroboree and later gave an exhibition of boomerang throwing. On Saturday afternoon the new concrete bridge at Meunga Creek, three and a half miles on the northern side of Cardwell, was opened by Mr. S. Theodore, M.L.A. for Herbert. He was supported by Councillor Dickinson (Chairman of the Tully Shire Council).The bridge has been named the Kennedy Bridge. Among those present were Mr. O'Brien (secretary) and Mrs. Robertson (President) of the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland. 
Townsville Daily Bulletin (Qld.), 24 May 1948.




Address:Bruce Highway & Balliol Street, Cardwell, 4849
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -18.267297
Long: 146.029515
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Actual Event Start Date:26-June-1848
Actual Event End Date:26-June-1848


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 22nd May, 1948
Front Inscription

           To Commemorate
The Centenary Of The Landing Of Explorer 
Who Passed Within Two Miles North
Of This Cairn On June 26th 1848
Whilst On Their Fateful Journey
         Of Exploration
   To Cape York Peninsula.

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