Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hyde Park

We are going to be staying near Hyde Park in an apartment with a kitchen. This way we can go grocery shopping at Woolworths or Coles, cook meals, and allow me to become delusional and imagine that I actually live in Australia.

Since I'm getting into history--well, Australia history, I decided it would be a good idea to look at the history of Hyde Park.

I hope this isn't boring.  I mean for me.  Researching.  If it's boring to you, no big deal.  You can just stop reading.  Well, I guess I can stop researching if I get bored.  But then I'll feel kind of like a failure.

I guess first I'll start with OUR history of Hyde Park.  We passed it several times, I think.   We had picnics there--maybe two of three. This is where an Ibis grabbed a piece of turkey out of Jack's hands.

For those wanting to keep our Ibisis stories straight. Hyde Park=turkey incident and Tumbalong Park=poop on backpack incident.

Okay, Lord Wiki says that Hyde Park is named after Hyde Park in London.  I figured that. Is Hyde Park the one with the Peter Pan statue. Or is that Kensington?

Kensington.  Thanks, Google!

Governor Macquarie gave Hyde Park its name in 1810.  He's not one of my favorite guys anymore now that I know about him wanting to kick the Koori off their land in the South Coast.  I gotta read more about this guy.  Maybe he has some positive attributes I don't know about yet.  I do know he built a chair for his homesick wife. That's kind of sweet.

Oh, here's something fun.   Right after Governor M. (I'm sick of spelling his name, okay?) named the park they had a horse race there.

There was cricket there--boxing and rugby do. I don't care about sports.Sorry.

Good on them though for being all athletic.

There's a big fancy fountain in Hyde Park.  This was donated in honor of Australia's contribution to the great war in France.   Shit. Australia was involved with that?   And I don't even know what that is!  I'm not good at history.  Is this like the French Revolution.  Les Miserables and all that? Or was there another war?  Gonna follow the link.

Oh!!  I am so embarrassed.   It's the Great War--aka WWI.   Got it.   It's not the Great War OF France.  But the French part of the Great War. Who the hell decided to call a war great?  It's ridiculous.

The ANZAC war memorial is at the Southern end of the park. I do know about that.  Gallipoli.  I know it took place in Turkey,  but did it involve France somehow?

I really need to learn about this war.

Okay, now I'm saying goodbye to Lord Wiki and am on a new website.

This has good history stuff.

It says in the 18th century, Hyde Park was a place for soldiers to get together and be ready to fight convicts who might rebel.

In the 1920's, there was a major screw-up.  Hyde Park was almost destroyed when it was dug up to make Sydney's underground railroad.  Oops.

In 1927, they had a contest to see who could unscrew-up Hyde Park.  The winner was Norman Weekes.  Go Norman!

Well, the rest of the history is kind of boring.   At least on this website.

I need some scandal.

Let me look further.

Here, this is pretty good stuff.

Immediately north of Hyde Park--in the space between Hyde Park and The Domain (another park thingie) there's the Hyde Park Barracks museum.  This building was built with convict labor and was a place for them to stay when employed by the government.   That ended in 1848.

After that it was used for various things: a place for female immigrants to hang out while waiting for work, an asylum, and government offices.

Currently, it's a museum.   It has a computer where you can search for names of convicts. I don't think I have anyone to search for.

I'm now looking at information about the Anzac Memorial. It was completed in 1934. That's nineteen years after the battle in Gallipoli. The fundraising for the memorial began just a year after the battle.

It's a very beautiful monument. I sadly don't remember if we saw it or not.  Fortunately, we're going back so I'll have a chance to not just see it, but actually know what I'm looking at.


  1. no, no war is great, but they call it the great war to refer to it's size and the number of countries involved.

    You might want to look up about the Australian Light Horse Brigade in WW1 while you are going. It's another significant involvment.

  2. Bettina,

    Thanks for the horse brigade info!

    I wonder if during that time period (1910's to 1940's) the word great was more about size and number rather than the more common definition of today.

    There was the "Great War" and "Great Depression". I'm trying to think of recent examples where it was used with that definition. I THINK we're less likely today to say something like "The Great Terrorist Attack" or "The Great Tsunami".