Sunday, December 18, 2011


Last night during a clean-up at home I found my old social studies textbook from when I was in 6th class at primary school.
Yep! That's right. I've been hanging on to it since 1959!
It's title is Social Studies for Sixth Grade by G T Spaull, MA, William Brooks & Co Limited, The Educational Publishers of Australia, Waterloo [Sydney] and Brisbane.
Oddly enough, it bears no date of publication, but the preface says it had been written in conjunction with the 1952 curriculum of the Education Department of New South Wales.
Why I am mentioning it here is that it has a piece on George Fife Angas, claiming him to be the 'Founder of South Australia'.
I don't recall ever hearing of him before, but according to my old school textbook, he was a Scottish merchant and philanthropist, based in London, who wanted to establish a colony in Australia for the British poor and unemployed.
He wanted to do this in South Australia, but in 1834, the British Government beat him to it.
The colony it set up was run by a Governor assisted by a group of Commissioners who were expected to find the money to make the venture a success.
According to my textbook, they failed to do this, and that through bad government, the colony became bankrupt.
In 1836, Fife Angas formed his South Australian Company which became the real founder of the new colony.
In 1839, he sent out his agent, Flaxman, to buy property on his behalf, but as a result, he found himself in debt.
He eventually sold all his properties in England and Scotland and in 1851 moved to South Australia where he lived until his death at 90.