Fremantle Stuff > books and papers > Webster 1885


To the Editor of the West Australian.
Sir,-Kindly allow me a small space in your valuable paper to say a few words on the above phrase and other matters interesting to Fremantle Ratepayers.
It is many years ago when these words were first sounded in our ears by Governor Weld, at the early part of his reign in Swan River, and I fancy many thoughts darted through his mind at the same words uttered by our present Governor at the Colonial Institute, London, before the Prince of Wales and other noblemen, including Governor Weld and others. Many thanks are due to our Governor for his pains aud exertions, in furthering the interests of our Colony. I think however there was little too much sauce applied to the chicken in the pot, &c. On the whole it is only fair to say Governor Broome has made matters dovetail very well indeed, aud we can only hope that good may result from his visit to the home Government. Although Governor Weld used this phrase, 'At last she moves' and although the word, "Paullatim" waa engraved on the silver trowel presented to him in laying the foundation stone of Perth Town Hall, I am afraid he is much disappointed at the very slow pace we have been crawling along during the last 16 years. At that time our population throughout tho colony was approaching 30,000 inhabitants, and when Governor Broome stated that the present population was only 32,000, I think, notwithstanding the attractions put forth in the papers received by many in this colony, our old Governor must have been somewhat puzzled and may have come to the conclusion that the people of Western Australia are still only babies confined to their go-carts and to their mother's apronstrings, tethered.
But what says the rising generation of Fremantle : "We have nice streets and roads, 'Odd Fellows Hall,' 'Masonic Hall,' 'Literary Institute,' 'Grammar School' now rising on the top of Monument Hill, a 'lovely church,' and three Parks, 'The Peoples Park, 'Wrenfordsley Park' and the 'Mayors Park,' the latter although least, is the last, and only just finished, now awaiting the opening day that the Mayor's name may be engraven in Red, White and Blue, facing 'Adelaide Street,' 'Edward Street ' and 'Parry Street.' The first of June is not far distant when the good people of the port are longing to enjoy this gala day. Besides all this we intend to build a beautiful, elaborate, and costly Town Hall on credit, and to our credit for £11,000, some people say even £13,000 and we are going to borrow £12,000 on Loans at 6 per cent, per annum. I will now tell the whole truth as to how matters stand with regard to ways and means.
Our Corporation has an income on an assessment of £28,000 which produce a revenue of £1400 per annum, and to make matters very plain that there may be no misunderstanding hereafter, here is a statement of facts :

The above is a correct statement of account showing our position so far as revenue is concerned, we are not particular about expenditure on little deficit. The expenses of Town Hall, caretaker, printing and advertising, keeping up roads (when they are made) and a thousand other things. We mean to have our Town Hall, and we mean to raise the wind by new loans up to £3,000 more, making a total of £15,000. With all our borrowing powers we shall borrow of Peter to pay Paul. This a new idea of our Mayor's on the principle of perpetual motion. We intend to engrave on our silver trowel not Paullatim but "Ne sutor ultra crepidam." Although this phase is applicable to the shoemaker, it is equally good for the Fremantle ratepayers. I am yours faithfully, Phillip Webster. May 8,1885. [emphasis in original]

References and Links

West Australian, 11 May, 1885, p. 3.

See also: Marmion Memorial, Proclamation Tree.

Wikipedia article: At last she moves.

Wikipedia article: Sutor, ne ultra crepidam.

Garry Gillard | New: 8 July, 2020 | Now: 8 July, 2020