13 March 2013

Naming the Capital. NFSA restored archival footage

| johnboy
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The National Film and Sound Archive has added this to YouTube:

Directed by Raymond Longford and filmed by Ernest Higgins, this film captures the formal naming of Canberra, on 12 March 1913. It has been digitally restored by the NFSA as part of the celebrations for the Centenary of Canberra.

The music was devised and performed by Elaine Loebenstein (http://www.elainemusic.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elaine-…). This film is available on the DVD Imagining Canberra: http://shop.nfsa.gov.au/product_info….

On the morning of Wednesday 12 March 1913, 500 invited guests, over 700 mounted and artillery troops and a public crowd of over 3000 locals came to witness the formal naming of Canberra. Foundation stones were laid by Governor-General Lord Thomas Denman, Prime Minister Andrew Fisher and the Minister for Home Affairs, King O’Malley. The national anthem was played and Lady Gertrude Denman announced the chosen name for the new-born federal capital. And so Canberra’s life officially began.

The recently completed digital restoration of the film highlights beautiful, clear images of finely dressed guests in Model T Fords, wagons, buggies and bicycles coming down from the Molonglo River to watch the ceremony. We see the grandstand erected for the official guests just below Capital Hill, facing north-east across the valley to Mt Ainslie; Lady Denman, elegant in an ostrich-plumed hat and pearls greeting guests; and the troops from the Australian Field Artillery, Light Horse and New South Wales Lancers.

The film ends with a long panoramic sweep from Mt Pleasant taken the day after the ceremony. It starts roughly at Capital Hill, where both Parliament Houses now stand, moves east to west to Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie, before completing the circle with shots of Duntroon.


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Fantastic. I wonder how many of those lads on horseback were still around five years later …

old canberran8:04 pm 13 Mar 13

Great. Thanks JB.

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