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Medal - Centenary of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, 1897 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20335

Australia New South Wales Newcastle
Centenary of Newcastle 1897 (AD)
Mint: Stokes
Other Details: Medal issued in 1897 to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of Newcastle, New South Wales. The Newcastle Morning Herald anounced on 10 September 1897 that a Mr Potter had prepared medals in silver, aluminium, bronze and gold. The gold medals were to be used as prizes in the competition between local fire brigades. It appears that this medal was made by Mr Potter, based on a design by Water Police Constable Hatherly. The medal shows Nobby's Island, off Newcastle, and scenes of Newcastle itself.

The celebrations were held on 16-18 September 1897. The first day was declared a public holiday, business was suspended, and Newcastle was 'transformed into a veritable fairyland'. Buildings were adorned with garlands of vegetation, floral wreaths, flags, Chinese lanterns, paintings, designs of 'excellent taste' and signs such as 'Advance Australia'. Coloured lights were strung along the streets, and government buildings were illuminated with gas lighting. A wooden triumphal arch was erected by the enthusiastic firm of Messrs Pjillips, Hart and Firkin, and covered with palm branches and interwoven flowers. Newcastle Coal Mining Company surpassed this arch with its own, constructed of 70 tons of coal. Prizes were awarded for the best illuminated vehicle, bicycle, reel, tram, motor and omnibus. The best was considered to be the window of Dr Ladlow, whose surgery featured two transparencies depicting an emu and kangaroo with a star in the centre, illuminated by a gas light. A public sports day involved 4,000 children and around 25,000 spectators. Students from the 19 schools attending received medals struck in commemoration of the centenary. Silver medals struck from the same die were given to the District Inspector of Schools, the Minister of Education and his wife, and the Mayor and Mayoress. A torchlight procession including illumianted bicycles and the volunteer fire brigades attracted 50,000 people. A harbour acquatic carnival included rowing races and an evening displ
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 32 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 12.65 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: ships
Themes this item is part of: George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Transport Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: public events
Series: Australian Commemorative Medals
DateEra: 1897 AD
Obverse Description: TO/COMMEMORATE/THE/CENTENARY/OF/NEWCASTLE/N.S.W./1787 1897 set within a shield, around it divided into 6 parts, images of Newcastle
Reverse Description: In the Exergue: NOBBYS ; Above; ship passing a lighthouse A wreath encloses the whole scene
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Plain (edge)
TO/COMMEMORATE/THE/CENTENARY/OF/NEWCASTLE/N.S.W./1787 1897 SHIELD, around it divided into 6 parts, images of Newcastle (obverse)
In the Exergue: NOBBYS ; Above; ship passing a lighthouse A wreath encloses the whole scene (reverse)
Shape: Round with hole
Material: Gilt
Issued By: Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, 1897
Artist: Water Police Constable Hatherly
Maker: Mr Potter
References: Ca 1897/79
  1. [Thesis] Lugton, Mary E. 1989. George McArthur of Maldon: his Life and his Book Collection.
  2. [Catalogue] Morrison, Ian. 2003. The Baker of Maldon.
  3. [Article] Strong, Ken & Treweeke, Olivia. 1995. 1897 Newcastle Centenary Medallions. Australian Coin Review. (376)

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