Glass negative stereograph showing the Druid's Float from the Friendly Society Procession which took place on 11 May 1901. It is part of the G. H. Myers Collection which consists of 73 photographs taken by Godfrey Henry Myers, an electrician and amateur photographer, in Melbourne during May 1901. 72 of these photographs depict preparations for the celebrations that surrounded Federation; all but one are glass stereographs. This collection represents Myers' one venture into commercial photography. It is significant for its images of the crowds, which do not feature so prominently in commercial photographs. The remaining photograph is a family portrait.

The opening of the Australian Parliament on May 9 1901 was an occasion for great celebrations in Melbourne. Ten days of festivities (from 6-16 May) were planned to mark the Federation of the new nation and honour the Royal visitors, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. The city was transformed with decorations - flags, bunting, colourful lights and festive arches - and a series of public events were held, including a military tattoo and several street parades. Unprecedented numbers of people arrived in Melbourne from the rest of Victoria and throughout Australia to take part in the celebrations.

Description of Content

Druid's Float, Friendly Society Procession, Federation Celebrations, Collins Street, Melbourne 11 May 1901. A mounted policeman wearing a black helmet is using his horse to guide the procession into Elizabeth Street. The crowd in front of us is looking at the Druid's float which has a chariot carrying Boadicea protected by two bearded warriors. Behind the float, Druids follow in white gowns and hoods. The unofficial Australian flag being flown overhead does not have the large star of the Commonwealth; this was added 3 September 1901. To the left of the image is the Town Hall clock. To the right is a largely empty fee-paying viewing stand. The German Arch is in the background.

More Information