Today is an anniversary for the state I live in, the state of Victoria in Australia. On this date in 1855 the 'Act to establish a constitution in and for the Colony of Victoria' was formally proclaimed. It had been drafted in Victoria and sent to the British Parliament for formal approval. It followed the 1 July 1851 declaration of Victoria as a colony independent of New South Wales. (Since the first permanent European settlement in 1834 it had been called Port Philip District.) In 1901 the colony became a state when the six separate colonies in Australia became the Commonwealth of Australia.
As an aside, I had a look for our state's Coat of Arms (not granted until half a century later). I've never noticed before, but there's a kangaroo holding the royal crown for some reason and appears to be standing in a top hat! At least our state's emblems make more sense - Common Heath Epacris impressa (floral), Weedy Sea Dragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus (marine) and Helmeted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops and Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri (fauna).
|Maryanne Lee nee Howe who migrated to Victoria in 1849
So what happened in the early 1850s to prompt all this immigration? Gold. Gold was discovered in the state about a fortnight after it was declared independent. It was the catalyst for a huge influx of people. The population increased from 77,000 to 540,000 in ten years.
In 2012 a fifth emblem was added to the state of Victoria's list. Gold became the state's mineral.
|Welcome Stranger, the largest gold nugget, was found in Victoria.
It weighed 71 kg.