2 Proclamation Day celebrates the official founding of South Australia as a British colony in the early 1800s.In 2017, the Proclamation Day public holiday is on Tuesday 26 December.
3 28 December in 1836 is remembered in South Australia as “Proclamation Day” because it was then that Captain John Hindmarsh stood by the Old Gum Tree and read the official proclamation of the new colony’s existence.
4 The date of Proclamation Day was later moved from 28 December to the first work day following Christmas, which is typically 26 December. Reenactments of the events of South Australia’s founding, however, are still held on the 28th by the remains of the Old Gum Tree. The 26th is an off-work day that helps to create an extended Christmas break. It is also a day of public celebrations and of formal ceremonies by many government officials.
5 The proclamation was put into print by Robert Thomas, who arrived at Holdfast Bay on the ship Africaine with the first printing press ever to enter South Australia. A fleet of 10 ships total carried the original colonists to nearby Nepean Bay just earlier, but Thomas went ahead and made preparations for the formal founding ceremony. John Hindmarsh, who became the first governor, followed on December 28th to publicly read the proclamation.The Stanhope Press
6 The proclamation calls upon the colonists to “conduct themselves with order and quietness,” to be law-abiding citizens, to follow after industry, sobriety, and morality, and to observe the Christian religion. By so doing, they would prove to be worthy founders of a “great free colony.” They were admonished that the existing Aboriginal population were now considered British subjects and entitled to the same protection of the law as were they.
7 Those who committed “acts of violence or injustice” on them would be punished with “exemplary severity.” The intention was also indicated of introducing the natives to the benefits of civilization and of working for their conversion to the Christian faith. The proclamation ends with a resounding, “God save the king!”
8 The reenactment of the founding of South Australia, complete with a reading of the official proclamation, is held at the Old Gum Tree Reserve by the Holdfast Bay City Council every December 28th. All are welcome to attend, and at the end of the reenactment, there is a celebration and free food for visitors. Many also head to the nearby beach and swim or have a picnic.
10 Three places of historical importance that one ought consider visiting on or near Proclamation Day are mentioned below. All three of these buildings are situated on the “cultural boulevard” of North Terrace right in South Australia’s capital city of Adelaide.
11 •The Art Gallery of South Australia. •The State Library of South Australia.•The South Australian Museum.