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Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The monument commemorates entrepeneur Diego Bernacchi (1853 - 1925).

Angelo Guilio Diego Bernacchi was born in Italy, and in 1884 he moved to Darlington, the former convict settlement on Maria Island, with a government lease to establish sericulture and viticulture. By 1888, Darlington (re-named San Diego) was booming, with new buildings and a population of about 250. Bernacchi's plans to produce cement on the island were doomed by the 1890s Depression and a financial crisis. San Diego became a ghost town again, its name reverting to Darlington. Bernacchi became ill and left the island shortly before National Portland Cement Ltd began production. He died in Melbourne of cerebro-vascular disease on 12 March 1925. 

Bernacchi's schemes did not bring him prosperity, but he was a colourful and popular personality who built up the island's reputation interstate and overseas through newspaper coverage which termed him 'King Diego' and 'His Most Amiable Majesty'.



Address:Hillside, Darlington, Maria Island, 7190
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.578613
Long: 148.067397
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 30th October, 1988
Front Inscription

[ Inscription in Italian ]

In the Australian Bicentenary the Italian community of Tasmania commemorates the great pioneer and country man, Diego Bernacchi

Born in Italy the 1 - July 1853

Died in Melbourne 12 - March 1925

Hobart 30th October 1988


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