William Bragg guides 1901 royal visit to university and opening of organ for Elder Hall

William Bragg heads the official party escorting the duchess of Cornwall and York at Adelaide University during  the 1901 royal visit.
 
Image courtesy State Library of South Australia
 

Another aspect of William Bragg’s organising skills was called on for the 1901 visit to Adelaide of the duke and duchess of Cornwall and York, later King George V and Queen Mary.

Adelaide was decorated with flags, bunting, flowers and electric lighting. The Bragg family had a perfect view, from the balcony of Dr Charles Todd’s home in Victoria Square, of the royal couple’s processional arrivalThe Braggs attended a levee at Government House where Gwen watched the Church of England Mothers’ Union Address she had prepared. William was introduced with other university staff. At night, Bragg took his two boys to see the city illuminations.

For the duke and duchess’s visit to Adelaide University, William took on most arrangements: protocol, guests, security, tickets, seating, dress, music, photography. Student unruliness was another factor. Because of his own youth, sporting prowess, personal qualities and understanding, William had a special relationship with students. He negotiated their contribution and their songs became a highlight of the program.

The duchess opened the Elder Hall organ, which worked well, thanks to William’s input. A welcome address in Latin, on parchment, was presented to the royal couple in a casket (the work of the School of Design and its director H.P. Gill). The body and base were of Australian blue gum; the shell design suggesting the duke’s naval associations. It was carved with university and Australian motifs and lined with kangaroo skin embossed in gold. The whole was bound with bands and secured by Australian copper, with a single key operating a long triplicate bolt: the work of Arthur Rogers.

That evening the Bragg boys went to the fireworks. William dined with the chancellor and later Bragg and Gwen attended a reception at Government House.
The military review on Saturday at Victoria Park was in front of the Braggs’ new family home at East Terrace, followed by a state concert at the Exhibition Building. On Sunday, Bragg and Gwen attended ceremonies and service at St Peter’s Cathedral.

Following the custom they begun from their trip to England, Bragg and wife Gwen recorded the events in triplicate; the first two copies sent as letters to overseas relatives.

Other related ADELAIDEAZ articles

Prof. William Bragg dealing, at 23, with new university and only few science students

Professor William Bragg, with first class honours from Cambridge at the age of 23, joined a new Adelaide University still struggling in 1886. Of 100 full-course students, only a few were at the science school. William taught all pure and applied maths and all the physics and practical physics. He was also in charge of much of the secondary public exams in maths and physics. But he was happy to lecture second-year music students in acoustics – a specialty he revisited in World War I.
 

Ralph Tate revives science and Royal Society; uncovers ancient local geology

The arrival of Ralph Tate in 1875, to take over the Elder chair of natural science at the year-old Adelaide University, helped revive the scientific awareness in the colony and beyond. He revived and converted the Adelaide Philosophical Society into the Royal Society of South Australia, as its first president. He found impressive evidence of former geological glaciation at Hallett Cove. He also published on zoolology and a Handbook of the Flora of Extratropical South Australia (1890)



 

Edward Stirling brilliant all-round scientist; helps start uni medical school in 1885

Edward Stirling become one of Australia’s best all-round 19th Century scientists – with many contributions to South Australian life beyond science. Completing his education in England with honours in natural science and as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, he returned to Adelaide in 1881  as lecturer in physiology at Adelaide University where he helped start the medical school. Among many interests, Stirling was chairman and honorary director of the South Australian Museum.

 

'I was only 19' in 1983 peak of political songs by John Schumann with folk group Redgum

John Schumann’s chart-topping 1983 hit “I was only 19 (A walk in the light green)” with Redgum explored the effects on Australian forces during the Vietnam War.  The song's sales assisted Vietnam veterans during the royal commission into Agent Orange and other defoliants. In 1975, Schumann had contributed to a radical politics-in-art project, convened by Professor Brian Medlin with students Michael Atkinson and Verity Truman. The three students formed political folk band Redgum, performing in pubs and on campuses. An “underground recording” of their music was made at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation studios in Adelaide by Darc Cassidy. Chris Timms (also from Flinders University) joined the group in 1976. By 1980, they decided to become a full-time band and Schumann wrote their biggest hits including “Long run”, “The last frontier”, “I was only 19” and “I've been to Bali too” (1984). In 1985, Schumann left Redgum but later started a solo career with CBS, releasing records including Etched in blue (1987) and the children's Looby loo (1989)

 

Flinders Uni created in 1966 by Labor govt to break Adelaide Uni's tertiary-level control

South Australia’s second university, Flinders, was created in 1966 on land being developed at Bedford Park as a second campus for Adelaide University. The Labor state government, elected in 1965, wanted to break Adelaide University’s control of the state’s tertiary education. The Labor party favoured “University of South Australia” but the academic staff wanted the name of a “distinguished but uncontroversial” person. Matthew Flinders, who explored and surveyed the South Australian coastline in 1802, was chosen. A significant early decision was to build the Flinders Medical Centre next to the university campus to have the university’s medical school within the new public hospital. This was the first medical school in Australia to be integrated into a hospital.

University of Adelaide Theatre Guild giving tutorials in quality and courage since 1938

The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild is the second oldest amateur theatre company in South Australia, started in 1938. After 80 years of nearly 400 productions, the guild is still winning awards in a pivotal contribution to both amateur and professional theatre in Adelaide and Australia. In 2018, it won the Adelaide Theatre Guide Curtain Call best show drama (amateur) award for Three Tall Women, with Jean Walker awarded best female performance (amateur). This followed the same awards in 2016 for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Julie Quick in the role of Martha. The guild has won many world, Australian and South Australian premières, most notably the first performances of Patrick White’s The Ham Funeral (1961), Season at Sarsaparilla (1962) and Night on Bald Mountain (1964). The University of Adelaide Theatre Guild has its home in the university’s North Terrace campus and, since 1974, its Little Theatre in the Union building, now heritage listed and designed by Adelaide music/drama legend with architect Robert Dickson

Contact Us

We welcome positive constructive feedback