2020 marks the 175th Anniversary of Stanley being the capital after the move from Port Louis.
To celebrate, a convoy of 4x4s, motorbikes, horses and walkers made their way overland from Port Louis to Stanley, whilst boats made the same trip by sea.
The convoy ended at the museum where a bbq, band and bar were waiting!
Richard Clement Moody arrived at Port Louis aboard the “Hebe” to take up position as Lieutenant Governor of the Falklands.
Moody was instructed to investigate the possibility of transferring the main settlement and seat of government away from Port Louis. (The main issue being the difficulty faced by sailing ships having to make their way, against prevailing winds, up Berkeley Sound).
Taking advice from Captain James Clark Ross and other visiting naval men, Port Jackson was suggested as a possible alternative. The area had good peat areas and fresh water supplies close by, and was more easily accessible for sailing vessels, but the proposal was not unanimously agreed.
In 1843 the British Government approved the move to Stanley and Moody set about building on the new site.
A few years later Moody announced that the seat of government was indeed to be moved to the new site and asked permission to name the town “Stanley” in honour of Lord Stanley, 14thEarl of Derby and Secretary of State to the Colonies.
Months of planning went into the celebration and all the hard work certainly paid off. It was a wonderful day for everyone involved and thankfully the weather was in our favour. The walkers set off from the Port Louis gate at 7am as the sun was just appearing through the clouds. Unfortunately, they couldn't walk all the way into town as some heavy rain the days before had made crossing difficult. However, there were a few brave souls who braved the streams and made it all the way to Stanley on foot.
The convoy of 4x4's, motorbikes, horses and the odd tractor set off a bit later in the day. A few made it to town unscathed but there were many, many boggings along the way which just added to the fun. According to the Governor, who took part in his Land Rover, at one point every which way you looked there were people bogged!
At the same time a carnival was making its way around town flying flags and singing songs. Our very own Past Finders group took part in the carnival.
The convoy made it to town later in the afternoon and all gathered at the museum where the party had started a few hours earlier.
Down at the museum the barbecue had been lit and the bar was open ready for the hoards of people who came down to join in the fun. It was a hive of activity at the museum, there were food stalls in the smithy and the military had set up demonstrations. The radio station was also set up in the R/T Hut interviewing people throughout the day. They shared the hut with Bob and Janet McLeod who were tracking the convoy as they made their way into town. FICS also had a stand, selling wonderful key rings and magnets with the event's logo. They also had a beautifully made buzz wire game for people to play.
When everyone had arrived it was time to raise the flag. The organisers asked two of the oldest members of the community to raise the flag, so it was down to Bob Alazia and Clara McKay to do the honours. After the flag was up, the Governor made good use of his sword and cut the huge cake that was specially made for the event.
The celebrations didn't end there, later in the evening a band took the stage to entertain the crowd until sunset.
A massive thank you to everyone that helped make the day what it was. It was a truly marvellous day and we would not have been able to do it without your help.