Rededication of the monument to perpetuate the memory of Rear-Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux in Gordon (Tasmania) [fr]
On Sunday 18 February, the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner, The Mayor of Kingsborough Mr Steve Wass, the French honorary Consul in Hobart Mrs Dianne Bye, the senior naval officer in Tasmania Commander Robert Curtis, representative of the residents of Gordon and the French Defence attaché Philippe Petitdidier rededicated a monument to Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux in Gordon (Tasmania) 80 years after it was initially erected.
This monument by the sea celebrates the landfall of the French scientific expedition 226 years ago.
In 1938, the French Navy was involved in the ceremony with the French Aviso Rigault de Genouilly moored in the D’Entrecasteaux strait and its commanding officer attending the inauguration. In 2018 the French Navy was also represented with the Defense Attaché attending and the French Polar Vessel L’Astrolabe sailing past the monument a few days later.
This ceremony is a strong testimony to the past, present, and future links between the French Navy and Australia. 226 years ago, French explorers were the first to chart Van Diemen’s Land coast. 80 years ago, French ship based in New Caledonia regularly visited Tasmania. Today, L’Astrolabe calls Hobart home for almost 4 months per year and Tasmania is the vital logistic hub supporting French Antarctic endeavors. Tomorrow, the Royal Australian Navy will be equipped with state of the art submarines designed and built with France in a cooperation that will span more than 50 years: a good omen for a bilateral attendance for the centenary of the monument in 2038!
1938: The French memorial is unveiled
2018: The French memorial is rededicated