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Path of Progress

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Proclamation of the new Constitution in Western Australia sparked an elaborate series of civic celebrations in October 1890.

People took to the streets to welcome the new Governor, Sir William Robinson, who was sent from London to supervise the change.  He travelled by train from Albany to Perth.  Towns and villages en route lit bonfires and people gathered at railway sidings to celebrate his arrival.

"His journey to the capital is in every way indicative of that more rapid but none the less sure progress which we all unite in believing is to be the characteristic of the new era now dawning... In no respect has more marked progress been achieved than in the extension of railway communication."

West Australian, 20 October 1890

In Perth, elaborate floral arches spanned the city's main streets and buildings were decked with banners and flags to welcome the Governor and the new Consitution. 

Thousands of people gathered on the Esplanade in Perth on the 21st of October to celebrate the day's events.  The new Constitution was proclaimed before a cheering crowd.

Newspapers boasted that Western Australia had finally 'come of age' after decades of slow growth.  They confidently predicted that self-government would lead to progress and prosperity for all.

Arrival at Albany Railway StationJourney to Perth

Arrival at Albany Railway Station
Governor Robinson arrived by steamship from London three days before the Proclamation Day celebrations in Perth and travelled to Perth by train.

Journey to Perth 1890
The Governor, Sir William Robinson and other dignataries on the way to Perth to proclaim the Constitution


Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.