Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/114

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
 

CHAPTEE VI.


A FEW IRISH CENTRES.


GEELONG—ITS EARLY PROSPERITY—MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISE—THREE: DISTINGUISHED IRISH PRIESTS—ADDRESS TO SMITH O'BRIEN - IRISHTOWN—HIBERNIAN TITLES FOR AUSTRALIAN ESTATES—ENORMOUS PRICE OF LAND—VISIT OF SIR RICHARD BOURKE—HIS DESIRE TO MAKE GEELONG THE CAPITAL—ITS CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS—KILMORE—A TYPICAL IRISH CENTRE—LOVE OF KINDRED—LARGE REMITTANCES TO RELATIVES AT HOME—KYNETON—A FLOURISHING COMMUNITY—BELFAST—A CHILD OF THE ULSTER CAPITAL—AN ABSENTEE LANDLORD—AN IMPORTATION OF IRISH FARMERS—A CELEBRATED POTATO COUNTRY—SOBRIETY OF IRISH SETTLERS—GIPPS LAND-ITS WILD LUXURIANCE—A MEMORABLE TOUR OF EXPLORATION—SIR CHARLES GAVAN DUFFY'S LAND ACT—HOW IT PROMOTED THE SETTLEMENT OF GIPPS LAND—"THE GARDEN OF AUSTRALIA"—A MILLION OF MONEY IN DIVIDENDS—THE STRANGE CASE OF PATRICK COADY BUCKLEY.


Geelong, once the only rival of Melbourne in the race for metropolitan pride of place, may be described as a city of arrested development. Beautifully situated on the shores of Corio Bay, the western arm of Port Phillip, it was the natural port for the extensive pastoral and agricultural district that stretched away for hundreds of miles in the direction of the setting sun. Its progress as a commercial centre was exceedingly rapid, and for a time it really seemed as if Geelong was destined to wrest from Melbourne the honour of being the capital city of Victoria. This anticipation was materially strengthened by the opening up of the Ballarat gold-fields fifty miles to the north. It was in Geelong that the first glad tidings of gold were announced, and it was from Geelong that the largest contingent of the