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Model of the Garden Island signal mast presented to Bert Sankey on retirement

Date: 1967
Overall: 675 x 380 x 30 mm, 1.7 kg
Medium: Metal, cloth, string
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Model
Object No: 00028748

User Terms

    A model of Garden Island signal mast presented to 'Bert Sankey from his fellow workmates on his retirement from Garden Island. 31-5-1938 to 20-12-67'. There are 13 hand painted metal signal flags reading `Good luck Bert' and a central white paying off pennant autographed by Bert Sankey's colleagues.
    SignificanceIn 1912, the Royal Australian Navy erected a signal mast at the northern tip of its base at Garden Island. This signal mast became a well known symbol of Garden Island. It was completely dismantled in 1978 and part of it was re-erected at Australiamn National Maritime Museum in 1991.
    This presentation piece is in the form of the signal mast and thus represents both the naval and waterside workers aspect of the history of Garden Island.

    HistoryGarden Island, on Sydney Harbour, is known as Bainghoe / Booroowang by the traditional owners of the land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.
    Named 'Garden Island' by the First Fleet settlers, the land, originally separated from the mainland, was planted by the crew of HMS SIRIUS almost immediately as an important food source. Despite having to haul water over to the site to maintain the crop, the first harvest was successful and the island remained a garden until 1810.
    In 1858 Garden Island, because of its proximity to the harbour entrance and town, came under the possession of the Royal Navy and housed the Australia Station from 1859. In 1896 full control, not just possession, was handed over to the Admiralty which it maintained until 1913 when the Commonwealth of Australia took it over for the Royal Navy.
    Officially the site was owned by the New South Wales government until 1945 when the Commonwealth of Australia purchased Garden Island and proceeded to extensively develop the base and join it to the mainland.
    Garden Island remains a Royal Australian Navy precinct and part of its First Base East.

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