Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Who were our first pioneers?

We are fast approaching the 1000 visits to our blog and we thought we should celebrate it somehow.  So, here is an idea.

In our posting of 26 October we made an appeal to the community to help us identify, as close as possible, who were the first members of our community to come to live in Canberra.  The idea was to launch a project to research and write our history and, alongside the Centenary of Canberra celebrations in 2013, celebrate the contribution our community has made to the making of Canberra.

We know that in 1947 there was a Spanish person in Canberra and that there were four in 1954 and 45 in 1961.  We also know that between 1961 and 1966 the number of our compatriots increased quite a bit to 341.  1966, as many of you know, was the year the community first met in Queanbeyan to discuss the creation of the Spanish Club of Canberra.  Unfortunately some of those pioneers are no longer with us, but many are still living in Canberra and are very active within the community.  It is to that group of people that we are appealing to come forward with their recollections and stories so that we can put names and faces together.

As we said in our posting of 26 October we invite all of you to join us and participate in this project.  Send us any information, anecdote, photo or doc (no originals, please) you may have or know about.  We would like to hear in particular from any of those 341 who were already living in Canberra in 1966.  But we also appeal to the young ones, that third or fourth generation, to nag your parents and grand parents to participate in this great community project.  You can send your stories and or material by post or email or simply writing your stories and anecdotes directly into the post’s “Comments” window.   

Some interesting stats to, hopefully, set the ball rolling.  At the last census (2006), of a total of 2093 persons who gave “Spanish” as their nationality only 1407 stated that both their parents were born in Spain.  This number includes the first, second, third and fourth generations.  Of the other 686 Spanish nationals, 182 had only the father born in Spain, 158 had only the mother born in Spain and 294 stated that both their parents were born in Australia.  The remaining 52 did not state their parent’s country of origin.

Our postal address is:

Consejo de Residentes Españoles
PO Box 4637
Kingston ACT 2604

Our email is:   crecanberra@gmail.com

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