Breaking news from 28.I.2017: Are already!
At the bottom of the article there is a small gallery of the latest photos of the plaque, which received today thanks to the kindness of Przemek Pluciennik Melbourne
… thanks you very much for your help.
In 2 km from the town of Yinnar South (Gippsland. Vic) on the crossroads Gilberts Rd.& Upper Middle Creek Rd. the main road runs along a modest bridge. Surprisingly, this very obscure structure bears the signiﬁcant name of Explorer's Bridge.
The coordinates of the location of the bronze plaque: 38°22'29.7"S 146°21'40.2"E or - 38.374914, 146.361154
A few meters from the road on the bank of the creek, in a thick grasspatch, stands a cairn of an area of approx. 0.5 sq. m and built of undressed stone.
A bronze plaque embedded in the top of the cairn contains the following information:
SHIRE OF MORWELL.
F.D.J. CONSTUCTIONS PTY. LTD.
COMPLETED AUGUST, 1972. COST: $37,000.
IN APRIL, 1840, JAMES McARTHUR, JAMES REILLY,
PAUL STREZLECKI, CHARLIE YARRA AND THREE
TICKET-OF-LEAVE MEN PASSED WITHIN COO‘EE
OF THIS BRIDGE.
The cairn was uncovered by Mr. Artur Santowiak, an artist from Morwell, who is a well-eamed contributor to the publicity of Sir Paul Edmund Strzelecki’s name.
Thanks to the authority of the Shire of Morwell and everybody who contributed to the bridge’s construction for the bright idea of commemorating the name of the explorer of Gippsland, but it is to be regretted that the subject of the last four lines written on the plaque implied wrong information I believe no historian was consulted on this matter.
The name of the Polish explorer with all designations and correct spelling(on the plaque entered incorrectly - Strezlecki) - ( Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki / K.C.M.G / CB / F.R.S. / F.R.G.S. / D.C.L. ) should have been placed on the top of the list, as it was him who was a leader and in charge of the expedition. The names of the other members of the expedition are also wrongly spelt.
The correct spelling of their names is: James Macarthur, James Riley and Charles Tarra.
Furthermore there were two, not three, convicts with the expedition, whose names were: John Kent - Macarthur’s servant and James Nolan who was assigned to Strzelecki as his assistant.
Irishman James Nolan was sentenced to imprisonment for life for petty theft and sent to the penal colony in Australia in 1825 when he was still a teenager.
Later on, thanks to Strzelecki’s intercession he was freed and allowed to live as a free man.*
Finally, the siting of the plaque commemorating Strzelecki’s expedition wasn’t precisely chosen. The truth is that the expedition passed a few kilometers to the north of the bridge whose name suggest otherwise.
Translation of the article written and published in Polish Wealth: of March 7, 1998
Paszkowski, Lech 1997. Sir Paul Edmund de Strzelecki. pp 164, 174, 351(20), Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne.
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