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Monument to Captain Cook at Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii

Date: 1928
Overall: 83 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00003401

User Terms

    A black and white photograph depicting the monument to Captain Cook at Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii.
    HMAS BRISBANE undertook a cruise to Hawaii in 1928 as part of the celebration commemorating the 150th anniversary of Captain Cook's visit to the islands.
    The Federal Ministry had decided to send HMAS BRISBANE to represent Australia at the celebration after an invitation to send a warship was extended by the United States to the British as well as to the Australian Government.
    The celebration began on August 15, concluded on August 19, and visits were made to three islands in the group.
    SignificanceHMAS BRISBANE was representing Australia during the visit to Hawaii in 1928 as part of the celebration commemorating the 150th anniversary of Captain Cook's visit to the islands.
    HistoryHMAS BRISBANE was a Town Class Light Cruiser commissioned in 1916. BRISBANE was built at HMA Naval Dockyard, Cockatoo Island in Sydney and was immediately deployed to war service in the Mediterranean.
    Throughout the war, HMAS BRISABANE served in the Indian Ocean, Western Pacific and patrolled Australian waters.
    She underwent an extensive refit in 1926 and served as a training ship from 1928 when she also visited Honolulu to take part in the sesquicentennial celebrations of Captain Cook's visits there.
    HMAS BRISBANE was paid off on 24 September 1935 and sold for breaking up in 1936.

    The visit of HMAS BRISBANE and celebrations in Hawaii were covered extensively in the papers in Australia. Although, not always favourably.

    The Argus, 27 June 1927

    The itinerary of HMAS BRISBANE, which will represent the Australian defence force at the centenary celebrations at Hawaii in August, was announced yesterday by the Minister for Defence (Sir William Glasgow). The cruiser will leave Sydney on July 12, and will call at Newcastle, Brisbane, and Suva (Fiji). Honolulu will be reached on August 9, and during the celebrations the vessel will travel to Kauai and Hawaii as required. The return voyage will begin from Honolulu on August 21, and Fanning Island, Pago Pago (Samoa), Suva, and Norfolk Island will be visited on the way to Sydney. The BRISBANE will reach Sydney on September l8, and will leave for Melbourne on September 22."

    The West Australian, 10 August 1928
    "CRUISER RACES THE CLOCK. H.M.A.S. Brisbane in Hawaii.

    HONOLULU, Aug. 9. — H.M.A.S. Brisbane arrived a day earlier than expected, the local committee having overlooked the effect of the International Date Line. The British Consul (Mr G. Hastings Phipps), however, notified the committee, which welcomed the crew of the Brisbane. A programme of entertainment will begin on Saturday, and calls will be made on the Governor of Hawaii (Mr W. R. Farrington), and the Military and Naval Commanders."

    The Mercury, 20 August 1928
    "CAPTAIN JAMES COOK International Tribute Hawaiian Ceremonies

    HONOLULU, August IS.
    The celebration yesterday of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands) by Captain James Cook in the early part of 1778, took the form of public historical addresses at the Army and Navy Y.M.C.A. rooms, Honolulu, including one by the Governor (Mr Wallace Farrington) discussing Hawaii as the centre of friendly relations; one by the British Consul General (Mr G. H. Phipps), reading Sir Henry Newholt's paper on Cook's life and services: one by the United States Secretary for War (Mr Dwight Davis) on Hawaii's contact with the world through Cook's discovery; and one by Mr Peter Buck on Hawaii's relation to Greater Polynesia.
    The ceremonies shifted to-day to Kealakekua Bay, where Captain Cook was killed by natives on February 14, 1779. Parties from HMS CORNWALL (Britain), HMAS BRISBANE (Australia), and HMNZS DUNEDIN (New Zealand), and the United States battleship PENNSYLVANIA landed, and participated with Hawaiians, in full regalia.
    The officials placed wreaths from all countries represented on the Cook monument erected in 1874. Wreaths were also placed from British war veterans and the delegates of the Pan-Pacific women's conference as the ships' guns roared salutes.
    Sir Joseph Carrruthers (Australia) said:
    "If you wish for a monument to Cook, behold Australia, New Zealand, and the South Sea Isles!"
    There followed a native feast, at which 4,000 persons were fed. The cruisers will return to Honolulu to-morrow. The BRISBANE and DUNEDIN will leave for Australia on Tuesday at daybreak, and the CORNWALL for Shanghai."

    Sydney Morning herald, 14 September 1928

    Still bearing the businesslike air of a long voyage, HMAS BRISBANE steamed to her moorings last night at the end of the journey from Hawaii, where her officers and complement played an important part in the celebration of the landing of Captain Cook in 1778.
    Accounts of the celebrations given by the ship's officers drew a picture of colourful pageantry, culminating in a reconstruction of the navigator's actual landing, in which Hawaiians of ancient lineage played leading parts.
    Naval manoeuvres were one of the features of the celebrations, and in these the BRISBANE, representing the Commonwealth, was associated with HMS CORNWALL, one of the newest cruisers of the British fleet, HMS DUNEDIN, from the New Zealand squadron, and several American ships, led by the giant battleship PENNSYLVANIA. On August 16 men of the BRISBANE were among the first armed British seamen to land on the island of Kauai since Cook set foot there 150 years ago. The ceremonies at Waimea, on this island, were attended by officers and guards from each of the battleships. While 300 Japanese children waved British, American, and Dominion flags, and massed choirs of Hawaiians sang their age-old chants, two tiny girls unveiled a monument commemorating the deeds of the British navigator.
    At Kealakekua beach, on the actual spot where Cook was killed, hundreds of Hawaiians, officers, and naval ratings attended one of the most impressive of the ceremonies. A bronze tablet, set one inch below mean low watermark in the rock on which Cook is said to have fallen after the fatal stroke had been dealt him, was unveiled, while buglers from the British squadron sounded the "Last Post." Hawaiian warriors, in full tribal dress, and led by their King in a crimson cloak, slowly paddled in canoes to the scene of the ceremony from their ancient city of refuge, Honaunau. A hundred yards away, a solemn ceremony of dedication was enacted at the Cook monument, set in a plot about 30 yards square, which has become British soil for all time. On the monument a huge wreath was laid, from the combined British, Australian, and New Zealand squadrons."

    Barrier Miner, 14 September 1928
    Sydney, Friday.

    HMAS BRISBANE, which represented Australia at the Captain Cook celebrations in Honolulu, arrived at Newcastle yesterday. According to the ratings of the vessel the BRISBANE when she left for Honolulu was like a pigsty, and it took a fortnight to clean her up.
    Sir Joseph Carruthers, who represented the Australian Government at the celebrations, refused to sail to Suva in the vessel which, he said, was "Too dirty to ask any decent man to live in." The drudgery of cleaning up the ship got on the men's nerves. At the celebration itself only the officers and a guard landed. The men were afterwards given shore leave, only to be treated like dogs, it was alleged, at the hands of the majority of the residents. Nearly 50 per cent of the men have been ill from dengue fever. The BRISBANE will shortly be scrapped."

    Western Argus, 18 September 1928

    Some of the rank and file of the HMAS BRISBANE on returning to Sydney from the Captain Cook Honolulu bicentenary celebrations at Honolulu have made complaints, but not in official quarters, concerning the treatment they received at Honolulu. They expressed the view that the celebrations at Honolulu had been used by the United States as a publicity stunt. The treatment that they had received at Honolulu, the men claimed, was in contrast to that given the sailors who visited Australia with the American fleet several years ago and could not but rankle in their minds. They had been looked down on wherever they went and shopkeepers had raised the prices against them. The absence of proper coaling provisions at Honolulu had made it necessary to take 900 tons of coal aboard in sacks that had to be filled by hand. One or two of the men also complained about the conditions aboard their ship. It had been lying at Garden Island for many months before it was commissioned to represent Australia at the celebrations, they said, and it was not in a proper condition of cleanliness when it left Sydney. Serious discontent existed aboard before it was out of Australian waters. Dengue fever attacked a large proportion of the crew. The work to be done was too heavy and at Honolulu it had been very difficult to obtain leave."

    The Canberra Times, 19 September 1928
    "HMAS BRISBANE Denial of Mutiny

    It was denied in Parliament, yesterday, by the acting-Minister for Defence, Major Marr, that there was any foundation for the rumour that a mutiny had occurred on HMAS BRISBANE during the recent Cook Centenary celebrations at Honolulu.
    He stated that the commanding officer had sent him a telegram pointing out that the cruise was particularly arduous, and involved a great deal of hard work, which was well carried out by everybody concerned. The officers and men of the BRISBANE, he continued, very much resented the wild and unfounded statements which had appeared in some section of the press."

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