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17-April-2014 (Graeme Saunders)
17-April-2014 (Graeme Saunders)

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / Graeme Saunders / Bryan Hardy

The monument commemorates the 500th anniversary of the voyage of explorer, Vasco da Gama (1469 - 1525), the Portuguese navigator whose voyages linked Europe with the Indian Ocean.

Vasco da Gama, was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India. For a short time in 1524 he was the Governor of Portuguese India, under the title of Viceroy.

Arts Minister Peter Foss today unveiled a memorial to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the voyage of Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama. Mr Foss said the epic voyage of Vasco da Gama opened the sea route between Western Europe and the Indian Ocean region, making it of special significance to Western Australia.

The unveiling of the memorial on the Esplanade Reserve at Marine Terrace, Fremantle coincides with the international Vasco da Gama Quincentenary Conference which was held in Fremantle this week, bringing together more than 50 academics from around the world. "The conference recognises Vasco da Gama as a great navigator who opened Europe to new peoples and lands, much as Christopher Columbus did when he crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America," Mr Foss said. "The memorial symbolises the links which bind WA to the Indian Ocean region. As Australia's gateway to the Indian Ocean and as one of the most culturally diverse cities in our nation, it is particularly fitting that Fremantle should have such a memorial."

The memorial is designed in the shape of a wave with a map of Portugal in handmade WA ceramic tiles.

The bronze medallion transported from Portugal was first hand-crafted in wood and features the face of Vasco da Gama. It is four metres long and three-and-a-half metres high. Mr Foss congratulated City of Fremantle staff and local artists Ed Nailor and Clair Bailey, who designed the memorial.

The occasion also marks the 45th anniversary of the arrival of the first Portuguese settlers to WA and celebrates the contribution the Portuguese people have made to the prosperity of the State and Fremantle area. Mr Foss spoke with pride of his Portuguese heritage, his mother a member of the first group of Portuguese to settle in WA.


Address:Marine Terrace, Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle, 6160
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.057571
Long: 115.743711
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Designer:John Kirkner
Artist:Edgar Naylor (ceramist), Clare Bailey (sculptor)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 28th June, 1997
Front Inscription

To commemorate the Portugese navigator Vasco da Gama whose voyages linked Europe with the Indian Ocean

Vasco da Gama 1469 - c 1525.



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