Sunday, May 27, 2007

Welcome Wall

Today was a special day for us. On our first Anniversary of our arrival in Australia we applied to have our family name engraved on the Welcome Wall in Sydney's Darling Harbour. It is a long bronze wall with thousands of names engraved along it commemorating the arrival of families to Australia. Some are the names of peoples' ancestors and some are recent arrivals like us. Today was the official unveiling of the panel with our family name on it. We were invited along to the unveiling along with the other 300 families on this panel.

What was special for us is that Byron was asked to give a short speech about us and our reasons for coming here. This made our family VIP's with reserved front row seats! We were treated like royalty from the moment we were waved into a private car park at the Maritime museum.

My brother Joe, his wife Rhonda and her sister Tenelle all came to cheer him on and we managed to get them seats in the third row. Another unexpected arrival was our friend David who lives near us in Toronto. He was due to visit friends in Sydney for lunch and made a huge effort to arrive early so he could join us.

Before the ceremony we found ourselves being interviewed by a national newspaper and were whisked off along the wharf for a quick photo shoot with a professional photographer. It was all very exciting! The ceremony itself was really lovely and involved three different people speaking about their experiences since arriving in Australia. They had all arrived about 50 years ago and their stories described their struggles to learn the language and assimilate into Australian society. Our story represented a more modern experience. Byron was wonderful and gave a short, genuine and witty speech which had the audience of over 1000 people laughing. I have posted a small part from the end and you can view it here....

After his speech was the actual unveiling and we finally got to see our name. It was a really proud moment. We were brought inside the museum for a private function to chat with the other families and speakers and to have a cool drink and some nibbles. It really was a fabulous day and we will never forget it.

2 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. The Baynhams have well and truly arrived!!! Must be Mr B's visionary qualities they could see. Well Done Byron.Hope Mrs B didnt get all emotional on you!!!Glad you all had a good

  2. Nice speech Mr B.

    Next stop - a passport.