The Mosaic of Serendipitous
Or; The collecting institution of
choice does not hold everything you
By Elizabeth Estbergs
ACT Government Reference
Empire Parliamentary
• What is the Association?
– Established in 1911
– 9 regions
– Each own secretariat
– provides opportunities for Members of
Parliament to liaise with fellow
parliamentarians across the Empire in a
number of different forums, including
seminars, conferences and visits.
Empire Parliamentary
• Imperial Conferences
– 1887-1937
• Commonwealth Heads of Government
What was the Occasion?
Who were the delegates?
United Kingdom – 18 delegates
Irish Free State – 4 delegates
Canada – 1 delegate
Union of South Africa – 9 delegates
Southern Rhodesia – delegate
New Zealand – 4 delegates
Newfoundland 2 delegates
Malta – 1 delegate
India – 2 delegates
Events during visit: 1
Presentation of replica Speaker’s Chair to
the Australian Commonwealth House of
Representatives, for the new Federal
Parliament House at Canberra, by the
members of the Houses of Lords and
Commons constituting the United
Kingdom branch of the Empire
Parliamentary Association by the
Marquess of Salisbury.
Speaker’s Chair
Events during visit: 2
Poplar planting in Senate courtyard
In the court yard at the back of the
building an interesting ceremony
took place, when the Marquess of
Salisbury and Mr. Arthur Henderson
each planted a poplar tree.
Source: The Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 12 October 1926,
page 7
Events during visit: 3
Tree planting in front of the Provisional
Parliament House
Permanent Planting Plan
Where were the
trees planted?
Closer view
What were the trees?
1930s view
1950s view
Parkes Place
Who planted the trees?
The leaders of the various delegations
were each asked to plant a tree in front of
Parliament House. The ceremony took
place this morning. The planting of trees
in the Capital area has been proceeding
steadily and many of them are making
rapid growth.
Canberra – Wednesday 13 October 1926
Empire Parliamentary Association
tree planting ceremony
Hon J. Alexander Robinson M.L.C.
Senator Lt Col Achilles Samut
Plaque at
base of
Sir Darcy Lindsay M.L.A.
Shanmukham Chetty M.L.A.
J.S. Dickson M.P.
(New Zealand)
Major Bryan R Cooper
(Irish Free State)
Named trees
Where are the rest of the
5 Countries
4 Missing countries
India (2 plaques)
Irish Free State
South Africa
Southern Rhodesia
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Cupresses sempervirens
Sir Darcy Lindsay MP India
Shanmukham Chetty India
Major Byron R. Cooper MP Irish Free State
Senator Lt Col Achilles Samut Malta
J.S. Dickson M.P. New Zealand
The Hon J. Alexander Robinson MLC
• Mrs E. Tawse Jollie MLC Southern Rhodesia
• Rt Hon The Marquess of Salisbury
• I.P. Van Heerden M.P. Union of South
Planning Map
Salvaged plaques
Cypress Trees
Flickr Photographs
Current status
• Still searching for the document that lists
the exact tree planting scheme
• National Capital Development AuthorityIn addition, the missing Empire
Parliamentary Association plaques will be
restored, if the originals can be located, or
the missing plaques will be reconstructed if
• ArchivesACT
• ACT Heritage Library
• Commonwealth Parliamentary
• National Archives of Australia
• National Capital Authority
• National Film and Sound Archive
• National Library of Australia
• Site visit
• For any additional information please contact;
Elizabeth Estbergs
ACT Government Reference Archivist
Ph +61 2 6207 5726
Fax+61 2 6207 5835
• Email [email protected]