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Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The monument commemorates Major Thomas Mitchell who named the Glenelg River , Sandford and Nelson in 1836, 

At the unveiling of the Bulla memorial for Hume and Hovell, Charles Daley the Secretary of the Victorian Historical Society suggested that the idea be extended to other explorers and a committee was formed to mark out the routes of Charles Sturt, Thomas Mitchell, Angus McMillan, and Count Paul de Strzelecki.

36 cairns or tablets to Mitchell were erected.

On Saturday, September 6th, the Governor-General (Lord Stonehaven) visited Nelson to unveil it cairn erected to the memory of the late Major Mitchell on the Isle of Bags. In glorious sunshine His Excellency was welcomed by almost the entire population of the district. He was accompanied by his aide-de-camp, His Worship the Mayor of Mount Gambier (Cr. Hay), the town clerk (Mr. Shepherdson) and Mr. H. M. Hogan, secretary of the Mt. Gambier branch of the A.N.A. On arrival, the National Anthem was sung by those assembled, and His Excellency was then presented to Mr. J. Holloway, president of the Nelson Progress Association, who in turn presented His Excellency to the school children. A move was then made to the motor launches which were to convey the party to the scene of the ceremony.

The Vice Regal and official party was taken up stream in Mr. L. S. Saunders launch (the "White -Eagle.") On arrival at the island, two Boy Scouts, Don Roche and Ralph Holloway, hoisted the Union Jack. Mr. Holloway called on Mr. James Owen Moloney, formerly head teacher of the Nelson State School, and the real originator of the idea of the local cairn, to give a short resume of Major Mitchell`s journey. His Excellency was then introduced, and, after making an appropriate speech, unveiled the cairn.  A vote of thanks to Lord Stonehaven was proposed by Cr. Smith, of the Portland Shire Council, and seconded by Mr. H. M. Hogan, of Mt. Gambier, being carried by hearty acclamation.

A short trip was then made up-stream, and on returning to the landing, His Excellency left for Mt. Gambler amidst great applause. Before departing, His Excellency requested Mr. L. Martyn (head teacher of the local school) to appoint one day during the ensuing week to be taken as a school holiday in honor of his visit. It might interest readers to know how this unique little island received its name. In Major Mitchell's diary he states that when he discovered the island there was on its surface a pile of stones resembling bags of flour, and for this reason it was named the Isle of Bags. Amongst those present at the unveiling was Mrs. C. I. Laurie, a grand-niece of the late Major Sir Thos. Mitchell. The cairn itself is made of the white stone so prevalent in this district and is covered with a coating of cement. It is at little over two feet square at the base, and stands six feet six inches high. An inscription plate to go on the cairn has been promised by Mr. W. Engelbrecht, of Adelaide, and it is the ambition of the local Progress Association to obtain plates for the other three sides, and to suitably fence in the cairn. 
Portland Guardian (VIC), 15 September 1930. 


Address:Isle of Bags Road, Isle of Bags, Glenelg River, Nelson, 3292
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.039404
Long: 141.003926
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:31-July-1836
Actual Event End Date:31-July-1836


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 6th September, 1930
Front Inscription

Erected to the memory of Sir Thomas Mitchell who found and named the Glenelg River July 31st and Sandford and Nelson in August 1836

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