Dear Beagle Editor,
Last week i read an article in the Sun Herald referring to a $50 million redevelopment of Cook's landing place at Kurnell, Botany Bay in 1770. It's all part of the 250th anniversary re-enactment of Cook's journey of discovery to be held in 2020 - during which the replica of his ship, Endeavour, will retrace his journey along our coast.
You may recall your magnificent presentation of my 7 part series on Josepth Louttit's quarry (1858) and its connection with the development of much of Sydney's building history and associated folklore.Part of the series specifically deals with the old landing site & it's somewhat degradation of the scene of perhaps, the 'most momentous happening' of Australia's history.
Many of the 'happenings' described thru-out the series occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria' and involved her second son (Prince Alfred) and the construction of Captain Cook's monument in Hyde Park,Sydney. Many other 'notables' were involved and amongst these were Sir Henry Parkes, Architect James Barnett,Sculptor Sir Thomas Woolner, builder extraordinaire, John Young, and the main instigator of the project - Captain Tom Watson, who decried the then pitiful attempt at Kurnell to honour his hero, Captain Cook, and show a greater respect and appreciation for "all of the 'parties' involved in the event"!
The entrance to Moruya River was blocked with mangroves at the time of Cook's passing - so he'd be blissfully unaware of the fortunes in timber, gold & granite that lay beyond - and that one day, these in part, would be used to build a monument to the very 'Endeavour' he was undertaking at that time.
Moruya has an undeniable connection with the history of Sydney. In some ways - we have more claim to the spoils that will be "thrown around" than any other town 'along the way' of the historic route, Batemans Bay entrepreneurs are preparing now to get their corner of the spoils!
So!! Wake up those in Moruya Chamber of Commerce. Get your finger out & make your presence felt!!! Time to let people know you're still around! Here are a few things to think about!
* Learn more about our history
* Get your 'little pinkies' on some of the moola -'dough ray me', and become a big spender.
* You could fix up the dangerous bar & get the river dredged - and --- you guessed it ----
*** Get the Endeavour right to Moruya Wharf !!
Can you imagine what a sight - what a sensation -to see this magnificent ship sailing the length of the river & the crowds it would bring. Well-- maybe you can't -- because if you had the get up and go, we would a have a procession or pageant of history each year to celebrate this place where you live & breathe every day!
Anyone interested in forming a committee to get the job done? Maybe Councilor Maine could forget his 'Tabbies' for bit & get his thoughts on some real community stuff!
Historian, Norm Moore.
Above: The Earl of Pembroke as a coal collier (later HMS Endeavour) leaving Whitby Harbour in 1768. HMS Endeavour finished her life in French Service as La Liberte in 1790.