Historical Extracts from the Brighton Southern Cross Newspaper re Adam Lindsay Gordon

Brighton Southern Cross 16 Dec 1911 p6

A move has been undertaken by a few of the admirers of Adam Lindsay Gordon towards the erection of a statue to the memory of the Australian poet. Circulars have been issued inviting the co-operation of public men and prominent citizens, and a public meeting will be held at the King’s Theatre, Russell Street, on Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock, to further the movement. Mr Julius Grant, of the King’s Theatre, is acting as secretary.

Brighton Southern Cross 31 Aug 1912 p5 *photo of grave and surrounds

Annual pilgrimage tomorrow.

Brighton Southern Cross 7 Sep 1912 p6

About 2,000 attended. Organised by Brighton Branch of ANA with assistance of Gordon Memory League and the Wattle Day League.

Brighton Southern Cross 30 Aug 1913 p8

Annual pilgrimage tomorrow at 3.30pm. Owing to the vast assemblage last year, serious damage was caused to the graves, and in order to avoid a recurrence, the ceremony will this year be held in the Outer Reserve. Principal speakers – Frank Brennan MHR, Thomas Wilson (Mayor), Senator Blakey and others.

Brighton Southern Cross 6 Sep 1913 p6

Unfavourable weather. Brighton Cemetery was the Mecca of a large number of admirers of the poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon. The movement was organised about four years ago in a small way, and since then has grown to such large proportions that the celebrations were carried our in the outer reserve under a gum tree grove. Arrangements made by Brighton branch of ANA. Mr. Harrison [?] [vice president of ANA] said that Gordon’s verse appealed intensely to people of every class, because of the wealth of human sympathy it contained. He was a link between Australia and the old country that they all called home. He founded Australia’s school of grim fatalism and he voiced Australia’s code of honour. Senator Blakey made an appeal to the audience on behalf of the fund to raise a statue of Gordon in Melbourne. He reported that about £310 had already been collected, but if a really fitting memorial were to be erected they would require at least £1,000. Cr. Wilson said he knew Gordon for a short time. Gordon was as fine a gentleman as could anywhere be met; a man one could trust; the very soul of honour and kindness. Wilson often saw Gordon ride along streets of Brighton and over the fences of the paddocks. Also knew him as a member of the Brighton Artillery Corps.

Brighton Southern Cross 13 Jan 1917 p2

After a couple of failures, they have at last got a wattle tree, taken from Gordon’s grave in the local cemetery, to grow under a tablet in memory of the poet, at Mount Gambier. The idea originated with one of Gordon’s riding companions, G. Riddoch, who wanted to pay annual homage to his old mate, and did not see why he should not have some spot to accommodate it. Last week, old man Riddoch unscreened the memorial, and gave the wattle a drink in the presence of everybody who was anybody. Most of the crowed claimed to be related to someone who had known Gordon intimately; but that, of course, is open to contradiction; Gordon was never properly known, even by himself.

Brighton Southern Cross 1 Sep 1917 p3

Annual pilgrimage tomorrow. This movement has grown in recent years, and is now so well established that many thousands gather on the occasion, each year bringing a greater number of the poet’s admirers to his shrine to pay tribute to his memory. Speakers include Cr. Clem Hack (Chairman), Senator Russell, Mr C R Long (Australian Literature Society), Mr Smithers Gadd (Early Pioneers’ Association), Mr A J Sullivan, Mayor of Brighton (Cr. Lieut-Col J Hanby)].

Brighton Southern Cross 31 Aug 1918 p2

Programme for The Adam Lindsay Gordon Annual Pilgrimage for 1 Sep 1918 at 3.15pm. Last year 3,000 people were present.

Brighton Southern Cross 7 Sep 1918 p2

Several thousands attended Gordon pilgrimage and found the broken column quite restored after the demolition by the Brighton cyclone on February 2.

Brighton Southern Cross 8 Oct 1921 p2

Annual Gordon Pilgrimage tomorrow 3.00pm. Prior to the year 1912 a small band of enthusiasts met annually round the grave under the sweeping branches of the wattle which in those days adorned the last resting place of the poet. Since that year the pilgrimage has assumed such large dimensions that the function has been held in the outer reserve of the cemetery. Senator Russell, President of the Gordon Memorial Committee will preside over the gathering.

Brighton Southern Cross 15 Oct 1921 p1 *detailed report of the event

4,000 attended. Originated several years ago by Mr Julius Grant, Edmund Duggan, Sullivan and Turner and one or two other admirers. Has know grown to over 4,000 people. Senator Russell – severe cold and was unable to attend. J. H. Taylor had organised the pilgrimage since 1912.

Brighton Southern Cross 30 Sep 1922 p1

Largest crowd yet attended. Senator Russell presided (President of Gordon Memorial Committee). A clear warm sun throwing into bold relief the rich green and gold of the surrounding fields. A light breeze wandering through the gum trees of the outer reserve, as through whispering stories of previous pilgrimages.

Brighton Southern Cross 22 Sep 1923 p2

Addressed delivered tomorrow 3.00pm by Mr T. Tunnecliffe and R. H. McLeod MLAs, Mr A. Nicholson (Chief Commissioner of Police) and C. R. Long (Education Department).

Brighton Southern Cross 6 Sep 1924 p2

The annual pilgrimage to the grave of Adam Lindsay Gordon will be held on September 21. There will be several speakers. As the reserve formerly used by speakers is now largely filleed [sic] with graves some difficulty has arisen. Mr C. Weber has been asked for the use of his paddock opposite, but as this has been let on a grazing lease it too may not be available. The Pilgrimage Committee is, however, determined to have the annual celebration somewhere in close proximity to Brighton Cemetery. It is also considering the advisability of buying a block of land close by.

Brighton Southern Cross 20 Sep 1924 p1 *photo of grave

The fourteenth Pilgrimage to Gordon’s Grave, in Brighton Cemetery, will be held tomorrow. A platform will be erected on the vacant block of ground at the corner of North Road and Hawthorn Road. The speakers will be Mr W. M. Hughes, MHR, Mr V. Ginn (Chief President Australian Natives’ Association), Mr Wroland and Mr Broinovski (Australian Literature Society). Mr C. R. Long MA, will be chairman. Recitations from Gordon’s works will be given by prominent members of the theatrical profession and others. Twelve young ladies from the Rosie O’Rielly Company will take up the collection. One recitation will be Ye Wearie Wayfarer. Votes of thanks will be moved and seconded by Mr Sidney Watson (general secretary ANA) and supported by Mr Julius Grant (Bert. Bailey Co) and Mr A. J. Sullivan (Hon. Sec. Pilgrimage Committee).

Brighton Southern Cross 27 Sep 1924 p1

The annual pilgrimage to Brighton Cemetery, the last resting place of Adam Lindsay Gordon, was held on Sunday last on the side of a hill overlooking the cemetery. Up till [?] the weather was very threatening but the afternoon was mild and free from rain. The attendance was estimated to be a record. Mr W. M. Hughes MHR, who was to have addressed the gathering, was through illness, unable to attend. Amongst those on a platform composed of two lorries [Cr J. A. Grant (Mayor of Brighton) had loaned gratuitously the two lorries which were used as a platform for the speakers] were Dr. S. Argyle MLA, Julius Grant, J. A. Grant (Mayor of Brighton), V. L. Ginn (Chief President, ANA), C. J. Breen (Education Department), J. W. S Wroland (President Australian Literature Society), A. J. Sullivan, Wanliss, R. A. Broinowski (representing the Institute of Arts of Letters), J. E. Holland (ex-Mayor of Bendigo) and S. H. Wintson.

The information was supplied to John Adams by TRAVIS SELLERS Brighton Cemetorians Brighton Cemetorians. John has kindly passed it on for inclusion on these pages.