Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/37

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23
GREATER BRITAIN'S METROPOLIS.

Kew, about five miles distant from the metropolis. St. Francis Xavier's College, as it has been titled, is built on a spacious estate of seventy acres in extent, and the view from its windows is superb, embracing the shining expanse of Port Phillip Bay, the picturesque panorama of the city and suburbs, and the mountain ranges in the background. Young Irish-Australians from all quarters are being carefully trained for a future honourable career in this delightful spot, under the careful supervision of its highly-successful rector, the Very Rev. C. Nulty, S. J.

Near the western end of the city proper, fronting Bourke Street, the main thoroughfare of the metropolis, stands St. Patrick's Hall, an unpretentious but historically interesting structure. Here the infant legislature of the colony assembled, and formed the machinery by which the measure of Home Rule granted by the Imperial authorities was brought into practical operation. Here, in 1854, the Victorian Convention, consisting of delegates from public meetings throughout the country, and guided by one of the purest patriots in colonial political life, the late Wilson Gray,[1] met and agitated for a reform of the land laws, and paved the way for future liberal land legislation. Here for forty years the Irish national sentiment has been kept alive and perpetuated by historical lectures, inspiring speeches, and frequent gatherings of the clans. Here every movement initiated in the old land has met with a generous, ready, and sympathetic response, whether its object was to raise immediate funds for the relief of our famine-stricken countrymen, or to help them to conquer the tyranny of bad and brutal landlordism, or to join with them in the

  1. Brother of the late Sir John Gray and uncle of the present Mr. E. Dwyer Gray, M.P.