Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/32

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CHAPTER II.


GREATER BRITAIN'S METROPOLIS.


THE IRISH ELEMENT IN VICTORIA—PROGRESS OF MELBOURNE—TRADE AND COMMERCE—ST. PATRICK'S CATHEDRAL—ST. PATRICK'S AND ST. FRANCIS XAVIER'S COLLEGES—ST. PATRICK'S HALL—THE CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS—IRISH GIRLS, A CREDIT TO THEIR RACE—THE PUBLIC LIBRARY, MUSEUM, AND NATIONAL GALLERY—THEIR FOUNDER, SIR REDMOND BARRY—THE UNIVERSITY—SUCCESSES OF IRISH STUDENTS—THE TOWN. HALL AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT—MR. ANTHONY TROLLOPE'S ATTACK ON THE IRISHMEN OF MELBOURNE—HIS UNTRUTHFULNESS EXPOSED—A RING OF PROSPEROUS SUBURBS.


According to the census of 1881 Victoria has a population of, in round numbers, 900,000, of whom one-fifth are either Irish born, or of Irish parentage.[1] Melbourne, the capital, with its numerous suburbs of Carlton, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Richmond, Hotham, Emerald Hill, Port Melbourne,Williamstown, Footscray, Prahran, Hawthorn, St. Kilda and Brighton, forms a splendid city of 350,000 inhabitants, embracing 90,000 of the Irish race. The principal provincial centres are Ballarat, Sandhurst, Geelong, Castlemaine, Echuca, Beechworth, Stawell, Belfast, Warrnambool, Kilmore, and Kyneton, in all of which the Green Isle is well and ably represented. Melbourne is the metropolis of Australia, the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere, the great centre of antipodean life and activity. When it is remembered that fifty years ago a forest of gum-trees occupied the site on which this bustling city now stands, and that, within the

  1. The latest statistical returns give the population of the colony at up-wards of a million.