How republicans tried to stop the Re- Enactment
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014

"The First Fleet and the Re-Enactment First Fleet - Some Historical Parallels and Differences"  by Richard J Tanner , was an adress to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the passing of Admiral Arthur Phillip, RN [Saturday 11th October 1738 - Wednesday 31st August 1814 ]

The address was given to Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and The Australia-Britain Society (NSW Branch) on Wednesday 27 August 2014 – Noon for 12.30 pm in The Strangers’ Dining Room, Parliament House, Sydney, NSW

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The original First Fleet was a political solution to relieve the overcrowded goals in England of the convict class who were mainly Irish and was multicultural in character comprising German, Norwegian, French, Dutch, Jewish, Spanish and Italian.

In Australia, in the 1980's the prevailing sentiment was that 1988 was the year of the Republic, don't re-enact history for fear of upsetting the aborigines, don't remind multicultural Australia of their British origins and don't call into Cape Town because the Australian Government doesn't like the Apartheid policies of the South African Government.  In short, the Australian Government wanted to rewrite history and they would go to any length to further this aim.

The monarch at the time of sailing of the original first fleet was George III who in the 1780's had suffered a shooting attempt on his life in London.  He was not present at the time of the sailing of the original first fleet and took absolutely no interest in the fleet as long as the general unrest amongst the working classes could be lessened and the expedient of housing convicts in unsanitary hulks on the Thames could be overcome.

In contrast the existing monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, played a pivotal role in ensuring that the Re-Enactment Fleet sailed on 13th May 1987, having been incensed at the political games which the Australian Government had played in attempting to stop the Re-Enactment. The co-ordinating Government department in England at the time was the Home Office, headed by Lord Sydney, who enthusiastically supported the establishment of a convict colony in New South Wales by demanding that Lord Commissioners of Treasury provide sufficient funds for the conveyance of 750 convicts to Botany Bay. 

The Australian Government, under Prime Minister Fraser, had established the Australian Bi-Centennial Authority which strangely did not seem answerable to Parliament.  It had a budget of $200m, but its aims were never spelt out with its running left to a Board of Management who subsequently did whatever their pre-conceived notions allowed them to do.  Whether by design or accident, the day to day management lay with individuals whose Irish Catholic background allowed them to avenge the Irish convict nature of the original First Fleet.  Later this was to achieve farcical and absurd heights.

The full text follows: 

"The First Fleet and the Re-Enactment First Fleet -
Some Historical Parallels and Differences"

Richard J Tanner


  

An Address to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the passingAdmiral Arthur Phillip, RN Saturday 11th October 1738 - Wednesday 31st August 1814  given to  Australians for Constitutional MonarchyandThe Australia-Britain Society (NSW Branch)  
Wednesday 27 August 2014 – Noon for 12.30 pmThe Strangers’ Dining Room, Parliament House,  Sydney,  NSW



  

Richard Tanner is a former member of the Australian Stock Exchange after graduating in Agriculture from the University of Sydney in 1966.  As well as his stock broking activities he was responsible for numerous Australian Film Productions.  His most notable Australian films were to document the two most important events in Australia's  recent maritime history:  'Aussie Assault' was the inside story of how Australia II won the America’s Cup in 1983, and the multi award winning 'First Fleet Rite of Passage', which documented the trials, tribulations and eventual triumph of the First Fleet Re-Enactment in 1987/1988.  He co-authored with Jonathan King and David Iggulden the writing of the history of the First Fleet Re-Enactment 'The Battle for the Bicentenary'.  He has been a member of the Sydney-Portsmouth Sister City Committee since 1992 and Chairman since 2002. He is now a primary producer running sheep and cattle at Coolah, NSW.
     Brooksby                                                                                                       Tel/Fax:  02  6377 4534957 Warrumbungles Way                                                                                      Mobile:    0428 962 081COOLAH  NSW  2843                                                                             Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Thank you for the great honour you have bestowed upon me by asking me to address this luncheon of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and the Australia-Britain Society (NSW Branch) to celebrate the life and times of Captain Arthur Phillip who deceased on this exact day 200 years ago.  He had many visions which your organizations, ACM and ABS,  long upholds – ensuring that the country is run on civil lines not a military oligarchy, equal rations, no slavery and a vision of a land-owning society with time expired convicts being given land. When I was first invited to give this most important address my mind went back to my great-great-grandfather, William Tanner, who was a protestant Irishman who hailed from County Cork.  After arrival on the Castle Eden in 1845 he saw service with the 11th North Devonshire Regiment in charge of convicts at Port Arthur, Tasmania, Norfolk Island and Cockatoo and Goat Islands in Sydney.

Whilst the early history of the colony of New South Wales saw the excising from the family records of any trace of convict sentencing times have now changed where it is deemed an honour to have convict ancestry.  It is a historical fact that the bulk of convicts had Irish Catholic backgrounds.  The reason for this situation are many and varied, but probably derived from a reaction against authority from English Protestants who passed most oppressive laws against the Irish Catholics restricting property and livestock ownership.  I was not to know that special retribution would be meted out to any Protestant descendants of officers in charge of convicts especially those such as myself who would re-enact history of the First Fleet sailing from Portsmouth on 13th May 1987.

To set the background to the title of this address it would be helpful to record the politics and the personalities involved then and in the 1980's.  The Prime Minister of England was William Pitt - a Whig, the antecedent of the Labor Party and whose ideas were followed in Australia.  Pitt was a most far-sighted politician, who passionately believed in transportation to a penal colony for individuals convicted of petty crimes rather than hanging.  The British Prime Minister in the 1980's was Margaret Thatcher, a Tory, who held so called right wing views, whilst in Australia the Prime Minister was Bob Hawke of the Labor Party, who held Republican views.

The original First Fleet was a political solution to relieve the overcrowded goals in England of the convict class who were mainly Irish and was multicultural in character comprising German, Norwegian, French, Dutch, Jewish, Spanish and Italian.

In Australia, in the 1980's the prevailing sentiment was that 1988 was the year of the Republic, don't re-enact history for fear of upsetting the aborigines, don't remind multicultural Australia of their British origins and don't call into Cape Town because the Australian Government doesn't like the Apartheid policies of the South African Government.  In short, the Australian Government wanted to rewrite history and they would go to any length to further this aim.

The monarch at the time of sailing of the original first fleet was George III who in the 1780's had suffered a shooting attempt on his life in London.  He was not present at the time of the sailing of the original first fleet and took absolutely no interest in the fleet as long as the general unrest amongst the working classes could be lessened and the expedient of housing convicts in unsanitary hulks on the Thames could be overcome.

In contrast the existing monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, played a pivotal role in ensuring that the Re-Enactment Fleet sailed on 13th May 1987, having been incensed at the political games which the Australian Government had played in attempting to stop the Re-Enactment.
 The co-ordinating Government department in England at the time was the Home Office, headed by Lord Sydney, who enthusiastically supported the establishment of a convict colony in New South Wales by demanding that Lord Commissioners of Treasury provide sufficient funds for the conveyance of 750 convicts to Botany Bay. 

The Australian Government, under Prime Minister Fraser, had established the Australian Bi-Centennial Authority which strangely did not seem answerable to Parliament.  It had a budget of $200m, but its aims were never spelt out with its running left to a Board of Management who subsequently did whatever their pre-conceived notions allowed them to do.  Whether by design or accident, the day to day management lay with individuals whose Irish Catholic background allowed them to avenge the Irish convict nature of the original First Fleet.  Later this was to achieve farcical and absurd heights.

To understand the political shenanigans which the Australian Government orchestrated in the 1980's it is useful to contrast the original plan for the colonisation of New South Wales and the plan by the Australian Bicentennial Authority (ABA) to investigate the feasibility of the Re-Enactment.  The original plan for the settlement in New South Wales was devised by James Maria Matra, a displaced American loyalist, whose family suffered after the American War of Independence.  Matra had sailed with Captain Cook and Sir Joseph Banks in The Endeavour in 1770.  He proposed a settlement in New South Wales or New Holland as he called it, composed of displaced American loyalists who would be given land.  He had lobbied Lord Sydney of the Home Office but the plan met with indifference and obfuscation even though the Undersecretary, Evan Nepean, gave him great encouragement.  The plan was eventually pigeonedholed as the displaced loyalists had settled in Nova Scotia in Canada and the convict problem became even more pressing.  In a remarkable parallel to history, the ABA whose opposition to the Re-Enactment had already been formulated, commissioned a well known economic consultant, Dr Timothy Pascoe, to conduct a feasibility on the Re-Enactment.  His terms of reference were loaded as the ABA insisted that the feasibility be based on building replicas of the original eleven ships.  Pascoe reported that the plan was technically feasible but the cost would be prohibitive which is precisely the answer which the ABA wanted.  So both plans two hundred years apart failed for political reasons.

The convict question was always predominating the original First Fleet but in a bizarre quirk of fate it was never far from the surface in the Re-Enactment.  The one person who was in the running to head the ABA was none other than the highly successful impresario, Harry M Miller, who had impressed Fraser by handling the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 1977.  He was appointed Bicentennial Consultant to the Prime Minister and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Re-Enactment.  However, his business dealings with a computer company landed him in prison and the one person who could have guided the event was out of contention.

The original concept of the First Fleet as developed by the Undersecretary of the Home Office, Evan Nepean, was to charter sufficient ships to transport the convicts and marines and to supplement these ships with sufficient vessels from the Admiralty to afford naval protection.  Money for the voyage was guaranteed by the Government of the day.  Of the original eleven vessels, nine were chartered or subject to back chartering arrangements with the East India Company.  The Re-Enactment vessels were also the subject of chartering arrangements but unlike the original fleet whose vessel needed to return home as soon as the convicts had been transported, there were no food shortages causing starvation.  The Re-Enactment did, however, suffer from severe financial starvation by the actions of the Australian Government and the ABA.  The eventual triumph of the Re-Enactment in 1988 promoted a victory tour of all Australian states.
 The Bicentennial Authority had a budget of $200M and proceeded to waste many millions causing some directors to resign.  More scandals followed with the Chairman dismissing the Chief Executive and then the Prime Minister dismissing the Chairman.   Meanwhile the First Fleet Re-Enactment Company Pty Ltd. with a share capital of $2,000 under the inspiration of Jonathan King, the inspired leadership of the Chief Executive Officer Wally Franklin and its Chairman Phillip King, had managed to assemble some seven ships. However, financial stringency plagued the event and on many occasions the obstruction by the Government and ABA would have caused the whole project to be aborted under normal circumstances. Throughout 1986 and 1987 the reign of terror by the Australian Government and the ABA continued unabated against the Re-Enactment.  This contrasted with the British Government in the 1780’s pulling out all stops to ensure that the fleet was financially sound and that as far as possible all contingencies had been planned. Amongst the antics and acts of political treachery employed by the Australian Government and the ABA in the 1980’s included: -        Instructing the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, not to launch the Re-Enactment Fleet to potential sponsors.-        Instructing Buckingham Palace not to have anything to do with the Re-Enactment.  These instructions were confirmed personally to me by the late Alf Parsons, Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1984-87), at the time.-        Instructing the head of the Britain-Australia Bicentenary Committee and former Lord Mayor of London (the late) Sir Peter Gadsden not to have anything to do with the Re-Enactment.  This was subsequently personally confirmed to me.-        Signing up square rigged ships which had been previously approached by the Re-Enactment Company to join the ABA sponsored Tall Ships event.-        Prohibiting the Australian Navy from providing an escort vessel.-        Stopping the official gift of the British Government to Australia – the “Young Endeavour” – a square rigged sail training vessel from participating in the event.-        Numerous ministerial visits from Australia to warn potential sponsors that the project was not endorsed by the Australian Government and that sponsors should be wary. But this unabated avalanche of political treachery had a silver lining and it came in the form of support from Portsmouth City Council and Buckingham Palace.  They and their advisers had obviously seen through the antics of the Australian Government who for political reasons wanted a retrospective re-writing of British-Australian history.  Those who mucked with history would have to be taught a lesson. Portsmouth City Council put on seminars to cover the extraordinary array of operational details for such a Re-Enactment.  Buckingham Palace employed a rather simple and seemingly innocuous tactic.  Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh merely announced that they would see the Fleet off from Portsmouth on 13th May 1987 on board the Royal Navy’s destroyer – ‘Sirius’ – namesake of the flagship of the original First Fleet.  If anyone were to ever doubt the political reach of Buckingham Palace, the events which were to unfold would be an object lesson for history.   The ship-owners naturally would not sail until the charter fees had been paid and this was self fulfilling as it aggravated the parlous financial position of the First Fleet Re-Enactment Company who could not take firm bookings for passengers.  This was a not dissimilar position with the original First Fleet where the ship-owners had been paid by the Government but the marines on the Scarborough and Alexander demanded back wages and an allowance for three years.   But the Australian Government had a very serious political problem – if the Queen was going to see the Fleet sail from Portsmouth and the ship-owners would not sail, the Government would be politically embarrassed in front of the Queen.  Obviously from an operational standpoint the fleet would have to be given sufficient money to get them as far away from England as possible to avoid any embarrassing situation. It was about this time, in the early part of 1987, that the Secretary of the ABA, Bill Fairbanks, appalled at the political shenanigans and tactics began writing memos to the new Chairman alerting him to the dangers of a continuation of the ABA’s hostility to the Re-Enactment.  Bill Fairbanks, the Secretary of the ABA, on the 8th April 1986, sent a memo to Wendy McCarthy –General  Manager of Marketing for the ABA :     “If ever a case is to exist for the Ombudsman to justifiably criticize this Authority for adopting a biased approach, the evidence is rapidly accumulating on our files relating to The First Fleet Re-Enactment and The Tall Ships Project.  If ever this conflict reaches the public domain, I will have difficulty associating myself with the contradictory, frequently illogical, irrelevant and misleading statements made by The Authority on these two projects over the years.” The Chairman of the ABA responded with a grant of $500,000 and the NSW Bicentennial Council also responded with a pre-purchase of $500,000 worth of berths.   These grants and guarantees would allow the ship-owners to be paid up to and including Cape Town.  But the ship-owners were becoming restless and doubted if they would ever be paid.  Only seven ships, Loren Larsen, Amorina, Bounty, Tradewind, R Tucker Thompson, Anna Kristina and Svanen had agreed to come to Portsmouth on the word of the Chief Executive of the Re-Enactment Company.  Wally Franklin on whose shoulders rested the whole organization had persuaded the ship-owners that they would be paid.  His board had refused him permission to pay the ship-owners so he resorted to most unusual means.  The money from the sale of merchandise which was being sold on the docks of Portsmouth was not banked but was taken in brown paper bags to be given to the ship-owners every night.  The ‘Brown Paper Bag’ policy so engraved in Australian folklore with graft and corruption was an integral port of holding the fleet together in Portsmouth until the ABA money came through. But the hostile elements within the ABA had one final trick up their sleeve in a desperate attempt to stop the Fleet sailing on 13th May – they would delay the handing over of the cheque for $500,000 to the Chairman of the Re-Enactment Company, Phillip King, until after the close of banking on the Friday before departure.  Phillip King who was the senior partner of Sydney's largest law firm, Allen Allen & Hemsley, and whose legal acumen held the whole teetering organisation together was rudely kept waiting until after the close of banking on the Friday before departure.  King, a superbly fit man, sprinted up George Street to Martin Place where he banged on the doors of the bank for several minutes before he was let in - the money was telegraphically transferred to Portsmouth and the Fleet would sail.  King was to later die tragically from a burst aneurysm - it is not known if that heroic sprint from the Rocks to Martin Place to financially save the Re-Enactment Fleet would contribute to his premature death.

In Portsmouth, when Sir Peter Gadsden, Head of the British-Australian Bicentennial Committee, was told that the Fleet would sail was incandescent with rage at being made to look such a fool when on Australian Government advice his instructions were to sink the Re-Enactment.  But Wally Franklin's "Brown Paper Bag" policy had succeeded and the Re-Enactment Fleet would sail on the 13th May 1987 together with four other ships - Kaskelot, Lord Nelson, Royalist and Johanna Lucretia who would retire around the other side of the Isle of Wight.  The original First Fleet of Sirius, Supply, Alexander, Scarborough, Friendship, Prince of Wales, Charlotte, Lady Penryhn, Fishburn, Golden Grove and Borrowdale was protected by a twelfth - the Hyena - a warship to keep the pesky French away for a further week.  The sailing of the Hyena in 1787 was to have a parallel in 1987 when the four fill-in square riggers would sail around to the other side of the Isle of Wight and proceed no further.

The Re-Enactment Fleet, seen off by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh standing beside Sir Peter Gadsden, who on Australian Government orders had done so much to scuttle the project, was underway and nothing was going to stop her being off Sydney Heads on 26th January 1988.  Or so we thought.

The ship-owners had been paid up to Cape Town but requested an undertaking from the Re-Enactment Company that if the Re-Enactment was still in trouble financially in Rio De Janiero that they be told then so that they did not have to sail back from Cape Town against the prevailing wind.

The journey to Rio via Tenerife, the Cape Verde Islands and Salvador (the original fleet did not call into this half way house between Europe and South America) was uneventful both for the original First Fleet and the Re-Enactment Fleet.  Captain Arthur Phillip's stay in Rio from August 6th to September 4th 1787 was a particularly happy occasion and was helped by Phillip's previous secondment to the Portugese naval to help in wars between Spain and Portugal in the 1770's.  For the Re-Enactment Fleet it was both a tense then joyous occasion.

The money given to Re-Enactment Fleet in Portsmouth was insufficient to complete the voyage and discussion between the ABA and the Re-Enactment Company continued but reached an irrevocable point after the ABA leaked a confidential report to the Sydney Morning Herald showing that the Re-Enactment Fleet was insolvent without further grants.  The turning point for this change of heart was political again.  The $500,000 to get the Re-Enactment Fleet out of Portsmouth was merely to absolve the Australian Government from embarrassment in front of the Queen but it now sought to scuttle the Fleet as Prime Minister Hawke stated on the steps of Parliament House "Bail out No No - Bailing is for Sailors not for Prime Ministers". 

It was then that the convict connection reappeared in a most curious way.  One resident in Rio was none other than convicted Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs who had escaped prison, fled to Melbourne, Australia, where under a false name and disguise he had married and lived in anonymity until his cover was blown.  Whereupon he fled to Brazil where after marrying a national he was beyond the reach of the law.  He was so grateful for Australia harboring him from the reaches of English law that he wished to do something financially to repay Australia.  Whilst his offer of financial assistance was very tempting at the time neither Wally Franklin nor myself wished to be remembered as two who had used part of the proceeds of the Great Train Robbery to help bring the Re-Enactment Fleet to Sydney. 

The contrast was amazing - Ronnie Biggs wanting to help the fleet out financially in Rio, which was farewelled in Portsmouth by Queen Elizabeth II, whose Government wanted him desperately back in England.  The verballing by the Federal Government continued unabated with the Education Minister Dawkins saying that the "expedition had degenerated into a tasteless and insensitive farce with little educational value and which doesn't deserve any more government funding".  The Arts Minister Cohen who had deliberately delayed the certification of the film covering the Re-Enactment chimed in with "the Government is being treated with emotional blackmail".

By this stage, the whole crisis in Rio had developed into one of the biggest news stories of the decade and all seemed lost when Mike Carlton of Radio 2GB launched an appeal so that all the callers could put their "money where their mouth was".  Within three days $950,000 was raised and the Fleet's darkest hour was over, nothing could stop it reaching Sydney. 

The stay in Rio was tense but in the end filled with the same sense of joy which had characterised Phillip's stay in 1787.  The Re-Enactment Fleet's stay in Salvador was perhaps too joyous after they were banned from the local sailing club after frolicking nude in the swimming pool causing distress to the members.

The leg from Rio to Cape Town in South Africa would be challenging in a physical sense but the sniping from the Australian Government continued.  The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bill Hayden, and his Department demanded that the Re-Enactment Fleet not call into Cape Town because it would be defacto recognition that the Australian Government recognised the Apartheid policies of the South African Government. 
 The organisers responded that they would consider such a plan if the Australian Navy provided shadow vessels to escort, refuel and revitual the fleet to Mauritius.  The hypocrisy and humbug of the Government was laid bare as the Government refused the naval escort and in the process shows that it was prepared to risk lives for purely political reasons. A naval support vessel would have been a great advantage and safety prop as it was on this leg the only death on the Re-Enactment Fleet occurred on August 22 1987 when the first mate on the Anna Kristina, Henrik Nielsen, was lost at sea.   The original First Fleet under Phillip suffered a very cool and unwelcome stay in Cape Town.  The Dutch were most avaricious and the price of supplies and livestock tripled.  The increased cost paid by the British Government had to be paid as the Fleet would engage in the longest and most perilous leg to Botany Bay.  The Re-Enactment Fleet however, were given a rapturous welcome by the South African authorities complete with a parade in horse drawn carriages and special docking facilities to remove barnacles from the ships.  By this stage, the Fleet had increased to nine with the arrival of "One and All" and "Eye of the Wind".  The number in the Re-Enactment Fleet would have been up to the full complement of eleven by Cape Town if the Australian Government and the ABA had permitted the British Government's gift to Australia "Young Endeavour" to join the fleet and if the Irish sail training ship "Asguard II" under contract to the ABA had been sailing rather than transported to Australia for the ABA Tall Ships Project.  The pro-Irish anti-British bias of the ABA reached the ludicrous pinnacle of farce as the Asguard II sailed past Cape Town on a container vessel!  The Young Endeavour would later call into Cape Town for emergency rations and fuel under a strict veil of secrecy showing the utter hypocrisy of the ABA and Australian Government. By this stage, the Re-Enactment project had captured the spirit of all Australians and the Re-Enactment Company was so swamped for bookings by paying "convicts" that they could have sold three times the available berths and probably twice the price which the NSW Chapter of the Bicentennial Authority had pre-purchased the bookings as part of its grant of $500,000 to help the Fleet out of Portsmouth.  The original arrangements actually worked against a successful financial outcome for the venture.  Berths were sold on a “hot bunking” basis where the trainee "convict" crew members would take turns between day and night to sleep in the same bed. 

The voyage to Botany Bay and Sydney Harbour saw some important differences between the Original and Re-Enactment Fleet.  Captain Arthur Phillip could not call into Mauritius as being a French colony the War between Britain and France culminating in the Battle of Trafalgar precluded this eventuality.  Fremantle with its Harbour had not even been settled.  The Re-Enactment Fleet actually had to use motor power to arrive there on 12th December 1987 dictated by commercial sponsorship and television deadlines.  The Fleet is greeted by an estimated crowd of 200,000 - larger than the crowds which watched the unsuccessful defense of the Americas Cup in 1987.

The Re-Enactment Fleet passes through Bass Strait rather than to the South of Tasmania as Flinders had not carried out his voyage of circumnavigation until 1806.  Minor stopovers occur at Eden and Jervis Bay before the entry in gale conditions to Botany Bay on 18th January 1988 before a crowd estimated at 300,000.  In Botany Bay, the Fleet of nine vessels was joined by Solway Lass to make ten.  But what about the 26th January and the Re-Enactment of eleven ships?  At this stage, it finally dawns on the ABA and the Government that they will look ripe royal fools if only ten ships appear off Sydney Heads.  They release the West Australian Sail Training Vessel "Leeuwin" but not the "Young Endeavour" as this would be a visual representation of the British connection cutting across the cosmopolitan multicultural nature of the Australian population in 1988 even though the original Fleet was multicultural in character.
 The pandemonium and turmoil of the welcome given the Re-Enactment Fleet on 26th January 1988 in front of an estimated 3 million people has never been surpassed including the 2000 Olympics.  The politicians and the bureaucracy had completely misread the mood of the Australian public and engaged in damage control spin by saying that the crowds had come to see the Government sponsored Tall Ships event in the afternoon, not the Re-Enactment Fleet.

One might legitimately ask in the light of the success of the Re-Enactment why an annual event of a small scale Re-Enactment could not be organised every Australia Day from Botany Bay to Sydney Harbour.  The politicians and the Australia Day Council have learnt little from the success of the Re-Enactment, saying that Australia has 'moved on' since 1988 and such a Re-Enactment would interfere with the annual trivial 'ferrython race'.  The politicians hide behind the Australia Day Council and its political objectives by denying the funds for the vital relocation expenses to stage such an event.  The total humbug and hypocrisy is shown by the fact that the necessary finance can easily be found to stage a tall ships event at the APEC meeting in front of Head of State, Prime Ministers and Presidents, as occurred in October 2007. 

The events of the original First Fleet were accurately recorded by the so-called Scribes of the First Fleet - Bradley, Clark, Collins, Easty, Hunter, King, Phillip, Scott, Balmain, Bowes, Smyth, White and Tench. It was decided that the machinations and political infighting surrounding the Re-Enactment should be committed to history so "The Battle for the Bicentenary" was written by Jonathan King, David Iggulden (Communications Officer) and myself.  It was written based on documents obtained under Freedom of Information requests and reveal a horrifying political and bureaucratic conspiracy to stop the Fleet. 

The publisher at the time was in the process of being taken over by Random House who wished to steer clear of legal injunctions. Many meetings took place in their Albion Street offices next to Tiffany’s, arguably so they say, Sydney's most exclusive bordello.  Our respective wives became increasingly suspicious at the numerous meetings where arguments ensued at whether the more lurid details of the conspiracy should be included in the book.  In the event the authors lost out against the publisher and to that extent "The Battle for the Bicentenary" is not a complete record of the infighting, manipulation and political shenanigans that was thrown up against an event which itself made history.  Further details will come to light when the embargo on secret Cabinet documents expires in 2017.

The authors did succeed in reproducing Rudyard Kipling's immortal poem 'If' at the front of the book.  Two lines seem particularly appropriate:

......."If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same"

The film 'First Fleet Rite of Passage" is a very accurate and absorbing drama into the trials, tribulations and eventual triumph of the Re-Enactment.  It has been classified as a "Preservation Item" by the National Film and Sound Archive and so should be available for future generations.  It should go down in history as an accurate record just like the Scribes of the original fleet documented events of their travails on paper.

It was as if Arthur Phillip was looking down on us saying that he had great problems to overcome and to achieve our Rite of Passage we had to overcome similar obstacles.  Our problems were bloody mindedness and gross stupidity from those who should have known better.  I hope we passed the test.
 In mentioning Arthur Phillip I think it would be fair to say that he has not in my opinion received the accolades which undoubtedly should have been bestowed upon him.  He was a sailor, a farmer, an untrained lawyer and a visionary who believed that all people should be equal before the law.  He knew how to deal with politicians and bureaucrats.   Two hundred years later Australia was fortunate in having the likes of Phillip King (now deceased), Jonathan King, Wally Franklin and Bill Fairbanks to organize the Re-Enactment.  They displayed the same singular mind of purpose in dealing with politicians and bureaucrats as had Phillip.   I sincerely hope that in seventy three years time there will be a generation yet to be born and their offspring who will display the same singular vision in re-enacting our history and therefore protecting our constitutions, our democratic and legal institutions which have served the nation so well.  I hope that this generation will take inspiration from the naked attempt in 1987-88 by certain politicians and bureaucrats to subvert history and the constitution by engaging in conduct which had absolutely no support from the population at large who turned out in vast numbers to remember our history. Admiral Arthur Phillip, RN

Addendum to an Address to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the passing ofAdmiral Arthur Phillip, RN Saturday 11th October 1738 - Wednesday 31st August 1814 given to  Australians for Constitutional MonarchyandThe Australia-Britain Society (NSW Branch) 
Wednesday 27 August 2014 – NoonThe Strangers’ Dining Room, Parliament House,  Sydney,  NSW

 1738           Born 11 October, in the Parish of Allhallows, a ward of Bread Street London,  to a German father – a teacher of languages, and anEnglish mother, whose first husband (deceased) was a naval officer. 1755           Mother’s influence obtains him a position in the British Navy as a midshipman where he saw service in the Mediterranean and West Indies. 1763           Aged 25 retires from Navy on half pay to farm near the New Forest. 1774-78     Seconded to the Portugese Navy in its war with Spain –                                                                                  headquartered in Rio de Janeiro. 1778           War with France – given command of the fire ship Basilisk. 1781           Captain of Europe 1786           Given first Commission as Captain General of the Expedition to NSW.  The circumstances surrounding his appointment are a mystery.  It was not a top appointment within the Navy who viewed a predominantly convict voyage as a disagreeable and troublesome business.  His appointment probably stems from his friendship as a neighbour of Lord Sydney in the New Farm Forest? 1786-87                Forged the practical details of the settlement.  Suggested that an advanced settlement be made before                                                                         the convicts arrived. Given civil and military powers Given power to appoint Justices of the Peace, Coroners, Police and to make Land Grants.  Writes numerous letters to the Home Office.  13th May 1787 – 26th January 1788       Voyage via Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro & Cape Town.  1788 – 1792   Governor of the Colony of New South Wales.Ensures that colony is run along civil lines not a military operation.Equal rations for all.No slavery but disappointed by the inertia of the convicts.Walks alone unarmed with the natives,Prevents a military oligarchy – has constant arguments with the head of the Marines’ boss.Has a vision of a landowning society with time expired convicts given land.  Australia is his legacy.                  References:  Jewish http://www.latinamericadialogue.unimelb.edu.au/sites/default/files/docs/Cover(1).pdf Phillip's first wife, Margaret, died in 1792. He resided with her, on a farm, outside of Lyndhurst (New Forest area) Hampshire.  Margaret Charlotte Phillip is buried with her companion Mrs Cane at St Beuno's Churchyard, Llanycil, Bala, Merionethshire. 

In 1794 he married Isabella Whitehead; they lived at 19 Bennett Street, Bath, where he died.  Phillip is buried at St Nicholas Church, Bathampton.

 Monuments to Phillip include:   

In Sydney  - in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art **,  the Royal Botanical Gardens and St James’s Church Queen’s, Square.

 

In the UK, Westminster Abbey, and

 Portraits of Phillip, include

the Mitchell and Dixson Galleries of the State Library of New South Wales, and

 in London, at the National Portrait Gallery.

 

Annual Commemoration Services are held around the time of his birthday:

 

in the UK:  at St Nicholas Church in Bathampton, and also 27th January each year at St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside, London, EC2.

 

In Sydney, by the Monument in the Royal Botanical Gardens and organized by the Arthur Phillip Society.

  ** Bust of Arthur Phillip – position to be confirmed  -  Museum of Sydney ? site of 1st Government   House