The Mosaic of Serendipitous Finds; Or; The collecting institution of choice does not hold everything you need. By Elizabeth Estbergs ACT Government Reference Archivist
Empire Parliamentary Association • What is the Association? – Established in 1911 – 9 regions – Each own secretariat – provides opportunities for Members of Parliament to liaise with fellow parliamentarians across the Empire in a number of different forums, including seminars, conferences and visits.
Empire Parliamentary Association • Imperial Conferences – 1887-1937
• Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings
What was the Occasion?
Who were the delegates? • • • • • • • • •
United Kingdom – 18 delegates Irish Free State – 4 delegates Canada – 1 delegate Union of South Africa – 9 delegates Southern Rhodesia – delegate New Zealand – 4 delegates Newfoundland 2 delegates Malta – 1 delegate India – 2 delegates
Events during visit: 1 Presentation of replica Speaker’s Chair to the Australian Commonwealth House of Representatives, for the new Federal Parliament House at Canberra, by the members of the Houses of Lords and Commons constituting the United Kingdom branch of the Empire Parliamentary Association by the Marquess of Salisbury.
Events during visit: 2 Poplar planting in Senate courtyard
In the court yard at the back of the building an interesting ceremony took place, when the Marquess of Salisbury and Mr. Arthur Henderson each planted a poplar tree. Source: The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 12 October 1926, page 7
Events during visit: 3 Tree planting in front of the Provisional Parliament House
Permanent Planting Plan
Where were the trees planted?
Closer view Lake
What were the trees?
Who planted the trees? The leaders of the various delegations were each asked to plant a tree in front of Parliament House. The ceremony took place this morning. The planting of trees in the Capital area has been proceeding steadily and many of them are making rapid growth. Canberra – Wednesday 13 October 1926
Empire Parliamentary Association tree planting ceremony
Hon J. Alexander Robinson M.L.C. (Newfoundland)
Senator Lt Col Achilles Samut (Malta)
Plaque at base of cypress
Sir Darcy Lindsay M.L.A. (India)
Shanmukham Chetty M.L.A. (India)
J.S. Dickson M.P. (New Zealand)
Major Bryan R Cooper (Irish Free State)
Named trees Lake
Where are the rest of the plaques? 5 Countries
4 Missing countries
India (2 plaques)
Irish Free State
Cupresses sempervirens “Stricta” • • • • • •
Sir Darcy Lindsay MP India Shanmukham Chetty India Major Byron R. Cooper MP Irish Free State Senator Lt Col Achilles Samut Malta J.S. Dickson M.P. New Zealand The Hon J. Alexander Robinson MLC Newfoundland • Mrs E. Tawse Jollie MLC Southern Rhodesia • Rt Hon The Marquess of Salisbury • I.P. Van Heerden M.P. Union of South Africa
Salvaged plaques Cypress Trees
Current status • Still searching for the document that lists the exact tree planting scheme • National Capital Development AuthorityIn addition, the missing Empire Parliamentary Association plaques will be restored, if the originals can be located, or the missing plaques will be reconstructed if not.
Sources • ArchivesACT • ACT Heritage Library • Commonwealth Parliamentary Association • National Archives of Australia • National Capital Authority • National Film and Sound Archive • National Library of Australia • Site visit
Contact • For any additional information please contact; Elizabeth Estbergs ACT Government Reference Archivist Ph +61 2 6207 5726 Fax+61 2 6207 5835 • Email [email protected]