Jan 302015

Albany was a tourist day for the ship. 

The Unlock the Past team were running a seminar at the Museum onshore.

It was a grey day but as we were welcomed to shore by bagpipes, the weather was not a concern.


Eric and Rosemary Kopittke at the Brig Amity replica

Albany is a lovely place with a long history. It was the first settlement in Western Australia, being founded 26 December 1826 as a military outpost. Initially named Frederick Town it was transferred to the Swan River Colony and renamed Albany in 1831.  For many years, it was the colony’s only deep-water port until the opening of Fremantle in 1897 and is still the largest natural harbour in Western Australia.

We caught the bus into the Museum where the seminar was being held.  It is on the site of the Residency and a number of historic buildings and the replica brig the Amity overlooking the Princess Royal Harbour.

The 148 ton brig Amity was built in New Brunswick, Canada in 1816. She ended up in the Southern Hemisphere when the Scottish Ralston Family bought her for their emigration to Tasmania. They sold her to the New South Wales Government  and she was used for exploration and supply voyages.  There is a Queensland connection (well it wasn’t Queensland then) as the Amity was used to transport the 70 people including soldiers of the 40th Foot Regiment, 29 convicts, explorers and their families to Redcliffe in Moreton Bay in 1824. Amity Point is named after the brig.The ship went to King George’s Sound in 1826 to establish the military outpost. 

There is a walkway near the Residency with panels listing the names of the settlers.


At the seminar Dr Richard Reid, Rosemary Kopittke and the local society gave presentations. There was even a gentleman from Bowral, NSW in the audience! I always said the Unlock the Past seminars are a not to be missed event but that is a decent journey to attend. Actually he was over helping hos daughter to move and she kindly gave him the day off to attend the seminar as it had World War One and Irish topics.

At the seminar we met John Shapland and his daughter Alyssa and this led to a fantastic visit to his private museum, a major highlight of the cruise, which you’ll be able to read about tomorrow.

Thanks to John we were also able to visit the National ANZAC Centre which was another major highlight and you can read about here.

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