Federation Pavilion, Cabarita Park | NSW Environment & Heritage

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Heritage

Federation Pavilion, Cabarita Park

Item details

Name of item: Federation Pavilion, Cabarita Park
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Community Facilities
Category: Pavilion
Location: Lat: -33.842949 Long: 151.117931
Primary address: Cabarita Road, Cabarita, NSW 2137
Local govt. area: Canada Bay
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT1 DP126394

Boundary:

The Boundary is 10 metres from all surfaces of the Pavilion.
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Cabarita RoadCabaritaCanada Bay  Primary Address

Owner/s

Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
City of Canada Bay CouncilLocal Government 

Statement of significance:

The pavilion structure is significant as the timber frame of the pavilion that was used as the site for the swearing in of the first Governor General of Australia, Lord Hopetoun, the first prime Minister, Edmund Barton, and the first Cabinet at the official inauguration of federation in Centennial Park, Sydney, on 1 January 1901.

The structure is highly valued by the community for its symbolic and cultural associations as the focal point of the official ceremony to inaugurate the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901.

The structure is significant for its association with important figures in Australia's history, particularly those involved in the federation of the Australian colonies and the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia. Pre-eminent among these figures are Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister, and Lord Hopetoun, the first Governor General (Pearson et al 1999).

The pavilion was moved (the shell of the rotunda) to Cabarita Park in 1903.
Date significance updated: 13 Feb 07
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.

Description

Construction years: 1901-1901
Physical description: he pavilion is much altered from its original 1901 appearance, with most of its ornate features gone. These include the arches and grouped Ionic columns, the entablature, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, lion head keystones and the roof with its shingle motif and finial. Though it retains the general form of the original, the pavilion is now a much plainer structure. It is not elevated as it was in 1901, but rests on a slab of concrete level with the surrounding ground. The pillars supporting the dome are plain timber posts which formed the core of the original Ionic columns. The arches resting on the pillars have been replaced with a series of vertical timber battens. It is not clear how much of the original fabric remains. (Pearson et al., 1999, 17).
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Well maintained and in good condition (Parkland Environmental Planners, 2006).
Date condition updated:14 Feb 07
Modifications and dates: 1903 Moved from Centennial Park to Concord.
1951 memorial tablet and plaque erected in the pavilion
Further information: Most of the trees now in Cabarita Park were planted in the 1930s and 1940s as during the 1920s a significant number of original trees died and were used by residents for firewood (Parkland Environmental Planners, 2006, 12).
Current use: Pavilion
Former use: Pavilion

History

Historical notes: Cabarita Park
At the time of European settlement the Canada Bay area was part of the traditional lands of the Wangal clan of Aboriginal people. The Wangal were a clan of the larger Darug language group or Aboriginal nation. Their lives were strongly focussed on the harbour and its foreshores, especially in food gathering. Aboriginal people also hunted animals, harvested plants and gathered raw materials in the bushland fringing the harbour. The Hen & Chicken Bay area, along with Homebush Bay, was traditionally a major meeting place for Aboriginal people from Port Jackson and the wider Sydney region. Before the arrival of white settlers, Cabarita Park was a typical rocky outcrop along the shores of the Parramatta River (Parkland Environmental Planners, 2006, 11).

Cabarita may have been derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'by the water' (Pollon, 1988) or may have been derived from a place in Spain where Surveyor-General Mitchell worked under Wellington (Parkland Environmental Planners, 2006, 12).

Cabarita Point was first sighted by the first European settlers in February 1788 - by Captain Hunter on his journey up the Parramatta River. The park was reserved as a recreation area in 1856, and first accessible by steamer in the 1850s. Early in its history the park was popular for picnics and watching boat races on the harbour. (Parkland Environmental Planners, 2006).

Part of the suburb was originally granted in 1795 to David Anderson, a private soldier in the NSW Corps. The grant was described as being at 'Caberita Point, at the upper part of the harbour'.

Cabarita Park, a picnic area on Cabarita Point was known as Correy's Gardens in the 1880s. This part of the river was the venue for early regattas, including the GPS schools 'Head of the River' before these races were moved to the Nepean River. The park was dedicated for public use in 1880. Cabarita was linked to Burwood station by tram, and the park was popular with families for picnics.

There was a segregated swimming pool, with one half for men and boys, the other for women and girls. Husbands and wives, as well as lovers, would lean on the dividing fence for a chat as the water swirled around their legs. France Bay, Exile Bay and Canada Bay, adjacent to the park, commemorate a group of 58 French-Canadian exiles. After an 1838 rebellion in Canada these prisoners were sent to NSW and held in the Longbottom Stockade in Concord, at which time the 3 bays received these names. (Pollon, 1988, p.43).

24/4/1936 Cabarita Park was proclaimed a public park under the Public Parks Act 1912 (Parkland Environmental Planners, 2006, 12).

The Federation Pavilion (former) / Rotunda
The pavilion's timber structure was used as the site for the swearing in of the first Governor General of Australia, Lord Hopetoun, the first prime Minister, Edmund Barton, and the first Cabinet at the official inauguration of the federation of the colonies in Centennial Park, Sydney, on 1 January 1901. The structure was the specially erected focal point of the official ceremony to inaugurate the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. The ceremony was accompanied by much pomp and attended by a vast crowd of 60,000 onlookers. The swearing in oaths were administered by the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Justice of NSW, Sir Frederick Darley.

Originally the pavilion stood 14m high and was covered with ornate details rendered in fibrous plaster. The building was the responsibility of the Decorations and Illuminations Committee for the celebrations, with the NSW Government Architect taking a prominent role. It is not known however who designed the structure. The work appears to have been financed out of the Citizens' Commonwealth Celebrations Fund.

Frederick Winchester Grant was (in Tracey's view) the principal plasterwork modeller in his firm Grant and Cocks. He undertook the work for the Federation Pavilion, an ornate, fibrous plaster and wood structure designed by architect Walter Liberty Vernon for the ceremony to mark the inauguration of the Commonwealth by New South Wales Government [plaque held in the Powerhouse Museum](Tracey, 2009).

The pavilion was raised on a platform consisting of a huge slab of polished Moruya granite with six sides to represent the original six states of the federation. Known as the Commonwealth Stone, the slab was later, in 1904, embedded into the ground as a permanent memorial to mark the exact spot where the Commonwealth came into being. (Pearson et al., 1999, 24).

Following the inauguration ceremony, a number of people suggested that the original fibrous plaster ornamentations should be remade in marble. No action was taken in relation to these suggestions, and in 1902 the pavilion was reported in the Botanic Gardens and Domain Report for that year to be in a very dilapidated condition. The report recommended the pavilion's removal. It was soon put up for sale and bought by the Municipality of Concord for the sum of 60 pounds. At the time of purchase the plaster ornamentations had all but disintegrated, leaving the wooden skeleton or frame on which they had been erected. (Pearson et al., 1999, 16).

The pavilion was moved (the shell of the rotunda) by Concord Council to Cabarita Park (then known as Mortlake Park) in 1903 though it was now stripped of all its original ornamentation. As part of the Jubilee of Federation celebrations, the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Justice of NSW, The Hon. J.K.Street, unveiled a memorial tablet and plaque in the pavilion at its new location in Cabarita Park on 9 May 1951. The ceremony was organised by Concord Council and attended by some 10,000 people. Representatives of 14 harbour side councils also attended, while the Mayor of Concord, Ald.H.F.Stanton, read messages fro 18 other city and suburban councils. The messages had been delivered by runners from the Western Suburbs Amateur Athletic Association who had taken part in an 11 mile relay around Concord Municipality before the ceremony. Messages of goodwill were also received from the then Lord Hopetoun and his son, the Marquis. Accompanying the ceremony were exhibitions of basketball, gymnastic displays and aquatic events, including water-skiing and speedboat racing. The Navy League, local Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts formed guards of honour for the distinguished guests after unveiling the plaque.

A proposal to restore the pavilion to its original appearance, but using marble for the ornamental features, arose in 1972. However this was refused by the NSW Government Architect because of the difficulties involved, the lack of any known plans and drawings for the structure, the fact that it would not be satisfactory to reproduce in durable material ornamentation that was originally designed to be temporary. In 1983, the NSW Premier's Department initiated moves to return the pavilion to its original location in Centennial Park in preparation for the Centenary of Federation celebrations in 2001. This proposal was rejected unanimously by Concord Council, its members indignantly pointing out that the structure would not have survived at all but for its purchase, re-erection and maintenance by the Council.

From at least the 1980s the pavilion in Cabarita Park has been used as the venue for wedding parties and band recitals.

In 1988, a new and permanent Federation Pavilion, designed by architect Alexander Tzannes in post modern style and evoking the form of a classical rotunda was erected over the granite slab in Centennial Park, the Bicentennial year of European settlement (Pearson et al., 1999, 17, 24).

Other structures in Cabarita Park over the years have included a boatshed, netted harbour swimming baths, Cabarita Swimming Centre, a kiosk/caretaker's cottage, picnic shelters, marina, boat ramp, children's playground and Rivercat ferry wharf (Parkland Environmental Planners, 2006).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Events-Activities and processes that mark the consequences of natural and cultural occurences (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. (none)-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Federating Australia-
7. Governing-Governing Government and Administration-Activities associated with the governance of local areas, regions, the State and the nation, and the administration of public programs - includes both principled and corrupt activities. Developing roles for government - parks and open spaces-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Lord Hopetoun, First Governor General-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups Associations with Sir Edmund Barton, First Prime Minister-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
HERITAGE ACT 1977
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

FRANK SARTOR
Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval

Listings

Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0145422 Dec 00 168 
Heritage Act - Icons Project Nomination for SHR listing  25 May 04   
National Trust of Australia register Cabarita Park urban conservation area (9/1986)    

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
National Federation Heritage Project1999 Michael Pearson et al  No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007Federation Pavilion, Cabarita Park View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007Federation Pavilion, Cabarita Park View detail
WrittenTracey, Jennifer2009Grant & Cocks Plaster Modellers, Sydney, c1890+ (email)

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5051340
File number: 14/4539; H00/466; H04/91/3


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