Resource Sheet 1

Perth’s Federation celebrations

The Esplanade

Hotel Esplanade: Queen’s portrait, draped with flags… At the entrance to the Esplanade an arch was erected, consisting of a panelled and framed structure, bearing on the sides portraits in oils of Sir Henry Parkes, the father of Federation; Captain Cook… Mr. Edmund Barton, the first Premier of Federated Australia; and Sir John Forrest, Premier for ten years of Western Australia. Above these were six shields representing the natural industries of the six federating States. Around the crown of the arch ran the Federal motto, “One nation, one flag, one people, one destiny.” To the right and left of the arch on the outside was a device bearing two hands joined, and the words “We’ll clasp.”

St. George’s Terrace

Government.—General Post Office, etc.; The central feature consisted of the shields of the six colonies… the name of each colony was lettered in gold. In the centre was a large portrait of the Queen, with the single word “Empress” …and right along the main front ran a scroll bearing the words, “Join we together for the people’s good.” On the right and left were allegorical paintings, the former depicting Western Australia, in the form of a richly attired female, drawn upon the waters in a coracle to which a small flock of black swans were harnessed, the prow of the vessel being directed towards its destination, the rising sun of the Commonwealth. The picture on the left represented Britannia and Western Australia clasping hands, with the lion on guard at their feet, and the kangaroo and emu and plants typical of the colony to the right and left…

The decoration of the front of the “West Australian” building was designed to typify the amalgamation of the colonies… Above the main entrance of the building stood a shield bearing the combined arms of the six federating colonies. This shield was surrounded with the ensigns of each colony supporting the banner which usage, but not right, has named “The Australian flag.”

Hay Street

W. Zimpel’s: Tricolour drapes Union Jacks, and festoons of tricolour.

Foy and Gibson’s: Royal Standards and other flags, festoons of flags…

Decorations Committee, at William street junction: Mottoes—“We’ll clasp hands,” “Ring out the old, ring in the new,” “By nature free, by seagirt blue,” “A new nation and a new century.”

…Konigstein and Co.: The parapet was draped and festooned with flags and tricolour. The shields of the six colonies were hung prominently and draped with flags. The Australian coat of arms surmounted panel bearing the motto, “Advance Australia,” and was draped with tricolour and flags of the six colonies…

Fink’s Hotel: Tricolour flags and shields; Royal coat of arms; inscription “Advance United Australia.”

Norman’s Picture’s Gallery: Over the arched entrance the portrait of Her Majesty between… draped Union Jacks.

Decorations Committee between William and Barrack streets: Mottoes “Britain rules the waves,” “63 years our beloved Queen,” “Loyalty to the Empire,” “Australia for Australians.” “Comrades in arms,” “God speed the union,” “Union is strength,” “God bless our Queen.” At the Town Hall intersections: “One flag, one nation,” “One people, one destiny,” “Imperial federation,” “Rose, Thistle and Shamrock,” “Advance Australia,” “Awake and see thyself.”

Barrack Street

McNeils Buildings: Flags, unfurled and in festoons, tricolour festoons.

South British Chambers: Shields representing the federated colonies draped with flags, suspended from the front of the building; the Royal arms draped with flags, and beneath this “Prosperity to the Commonwealth.”

…Public Offices: Along the parapet, four heraldic shields of England, Ireland, Scotland, and West Australia, with the Royal Standard in the centre…

Railway Hotel: “Success to the Commonwealth,” and flags…

Decorations Committee [motto] “Australia the pride of Empire.”

The West Australian, 2 January 1901.