The Not Just Ned exhibition developed by the National Museum of Australia features stories and objects which document more than two centuries of Irish transportation and immigration.
About half a million Irish men, women and children left their homes to begin the long sea passage to Australia between 1788 and 1921, when Ireland gained independence. About 12 per cent of these people made the journey in the hold of a convict ship.
Stories featured here include Irishman and First Fleet surgeon-general John White, colourful pickpocket and later police chief George Barrington, Young Ireland rebellion leaders Thomas Francis Meagher and William Smith O'Brien, the convict women who made the Rajah quilt, and pioneer chaplain Charles Beaumont Howard.
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Stained-glass window, 1836
Stained-glass window from temporary church 1836. Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide.
Immigration: Pioneer chaplain
In colonial South Australia, Irishman Charles Beaumont Howard was known as the friend of anyone in trouble or distress. Howard was South Australia's 'colonial chaplain', an Anglican clergyman who battled to establish his church in the Adelaide bush.
Sent out with Howard on the Buffalo in 1836 was a temporary church. However, several weeks of attempting to conduct services in it after he arrived at Holdfast Bay, Glenelg, quickly proved it useless.
And so, in the extreme heat of late January 1837, Howard, assisted by the colonial treasurer, dragged a handcart and sail 12 kilometres through the bush to the site of the new city of Adelaide. There he erected the sail under a tree for shelter, surrounded the structure with tree branches and rushes from the coast and held Adelaide's first Anglican services.
Howard's greatest monument is Holy Trinity Church, which he opened in 1838. But in the Holy Trinity Church collection is an object that perhaps better symbolises Howard's pioneering efforts. It is a small stained-glass window, intended for the temporary church from the Buffalo, and decorated with the letters 'WIVR' (standing for the reigning monarch, William IV) and the date, '1836'.