@ Alex Hope (Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:39 pm): …

Comment on Global statues controversy hits Alice Springs by Alex Nelson.

@ Alex Hope (Posted June 18, 2020 at 2:39 pm): You’re correct, Lionel Rose Drive was adjusted to Colonel Rose Drive to avoid confusion with the nationally recognised Aboriginal singer / boxer of the same name; however, there’s no change of the person who is commemorated by that street name.
I think you’re a bit harsh about the motivations for that adjustment; the intention was to name that road in honour of Col. Alfred Lionel Rose, which runs along the south boundary of the Arid Zone Research Institute which he had lobbied the Chifley Government to reserve as a base for primary industry research in 1947 – the first such facility established in the NT under Commonwealth control.
Colonel Rose, a veteran of both world wars, made an enormous contribution to the NT, especially the Centre, of which I’ll note just a few:
• Foundation director of the Animal Industry Branch (precursor to the current Dept. of Primary Industry and Research) which provided the underpinning for sustained economic viability of the pastoral industry in the NT for the first time, including initiating the world’s first successful national animal disease eradication program and assisting the establishment of the CSIRO in Alice Springs.
• Member of the Reserves Board of the Northern Territory and chairman for most of its history (precursor to the long-running Conservation Commission of the NT, now Parks and Wildlife), overseeing the rise of the parks and reserves system so vital to the NT’s tourism industry;
• Served as an Official Member of the NT Legislative Council in the 1950s, and as the elected Member for Alice Springs 1962-65.
Colonel Rose died in early May 1980 and was given the NT’s first state funeral – and that leads to another point, it’s normally the rule that street names are allocated in honour of deceased persons of note, not those still alive (yes, there have been exceptions).
Lionel Rose, the boxer / singer, with all due respect, had no association with the Centre or NT, and passed away in 2011.
I have the same problem with the name of Ruby Willshire to replace that of her father, William Willshire: What is her connection or role in Central Australia?
Finally, with regard to a statue of an Aboriginal person to “balance” that of John McDouall Stuart, we overlook the monument to Albert Namatjira (designed by Rex Battarbee) on Larapinta Drive just outside of Hermannsburg, one of the earliest (July 1962) and largest in Australia in honour of an Aboriginal person; and we have the William Rickett’s sculptures featuring likenesses of real Aboriginal people from the early 1950s, languishing at Pitchi Richi Sanctuary that is crying out for more financial support.

Alex Nelson Also Commented

Global statues controversy hits Alice Springs
I’ve been reminded of a third street name change, that of Nicker Place to Hawkins Court, which adjoins Nicker Crescent.
When the street names for the future suburb of Gillen were gazetted in late 1962, apparently the cul-de-sac off Nicker Crescent (probably the first in Alice Springs) was simply considered a part of the same street.


Global statues controversy hits Alice Springs
@ Alex Hope (Posted June 15, 2020 at 5:12 pm): It’s very rare for street names to be changed, I’m aware of only two examples from Alice Springs – and one of these, as it happens, adjoins Willshire Street.
The original name for Traeger Avenue was Pedler Street but this was changed in early 1967. As far as I can make out, Pedler Street was originally intended to provide the direct road link across to the new suburb planned for the Connellan subdivision – this is indicated by the fact that the existing Pedler Avenue in Gillen is directly in line with Traeger Avenue.
The second example is the sudden change of Aranda Terrace to Palm Circuit by the NTG in 1987.
This was intended to benefit Mecca Date Garden which was a popular tourist attraction at the time but didn’t go down well with the lessee of Pitchi Richi Sanctuary who faced the inconvenience of replacing all its stationery and publicity materials.
I think the case for changing the name of Willshire Street is justified; and I don’t think by doing so that the unpleasant history of William Willshire’s role in Central Australia will be erased as a consequence.
Keep in mind that we have other place names in honour of far more admirable individuals from that time who are associated with events connected with Willshire.
For example, the Telegraph Station master Frank Gillen, also special magistrate and sub-protector of Aborigines, ordered the arrest of William Willshire on murder charges. He is commemorated with Gillen Park in the old Eastside, Gillen suburb and Gillen Primary School.
Similarly, Mounted Constable Bill South was the officer who arrested Willshire and transported him to trial in Port Augusta.
Bill South also prevented the felling of the Todd River’s red gums for timber supplies by early European settlers. His memory is honoured by South Terrace which runs beside the Todd River and the trees he helped to save.
So there are means available for ensuring the full history of Alice Springs is acknowledged but in such manner to avoid offence to many people confronted by the record of such as Willshire.


Recent Comments by Alex Nelson

Aboriginal participation needed to Close the Gap: Mundine
Here is the news: “Legislative Councillor, Frank Johnson of Alice Springs, refuses to let up on his theme that “a tannery or some other industry to absorb aborigine [sic] labour is a must for the Alice Springs district.
“He has written to various parliamentarians about it, spoken about the subject in Council and made numerous statements through the press.
“Many in Alice Springs have supported the member in his cry. This week Mr Johnson aimed a new bullet at the powers that be, and it contained a new warning.
“Either the Government will establish a tannery or some other suitable industry, or they had better get busy and build bigger gaols, he stated.
“Mr Johnson means by that, that unless some suitable employment is available to the aborigines [sic] at present receiving some sort of education, then there is going to be a lot of trouble in a very short time”.
This was published under the headline “Build industry or bigger gaol at Alice Springs” in the Centralian Advocate, September 11, 1953.
What goes round comes round when there’s nothing new under the sun.


‘Major Project’ is ready to go – except for the money
Kind of ironic that the Gunner Labor Government, in its eagerness to assure a “jobs led recovery, not a cuts led recovery,” is placing so much reliance on … ahem, an open cut mine.


Deloitte to close Alice Springs office
Erwin, the top floor was actually built at the request of the ABC as the building was originally intended to be two storeys.
The NT Tourist Commission was one of the early occupants of the building, along with the Housing Commission, too.
Thanks to Cyclone Tracy, the headquarters of the Tourist Commission was relocated there from Darwin, and remained in Alice Springs at various locations until 1992.


Council resignations and surprising alliances
@ Scotty (Posted June 30, 2020 at 4:45 pm): “By the way, Willshire was not found guilty of anything” – while in turn Lindy Chamberlain was found guilty.
History shows the decisions of courts are not sacrosanct; and in both examples, the findings were (at a minimum) miscarriages of justice.


Deloitte to close Alice Springs office
Looks like we’re going to have to change the name of the building from its current “Deloitte House”.
Ah well, it wouldn’t be setting a precedent – for many years it was called Sturt House but in fact was originally named “Stuart House” when the building was opened in 1973.
The first name didn’t last long and, although I haven’t sighted any documentary evidence, I suspect it was changed when it was realised there was already a “Stuart House” in town.
This was the still brand new south wing of the Melanka government hostel adjoining Stuart Terrace.
Well, poor old Melanka has long gone and Deloitte is leaving so maybe the original name of Stuart House can be restored.
Who says history is forgotten when we have site name changes?
[ED – Alex, we should have a party with the ABC. They used to occupy the top floor. And the Tourist Commission (yes, that’s the mob that actually knew how to promote The Centre) was on floor one or two.]


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