A special memorial was recently unveiled in Adelaide to honour Thomas Hudson Beare, one of South Australia’s most prominent colonial pioneers.
T.H. Beare was second-in-command of the South Australian Company. He arrived on the Duke of York in 1836 at what is today historic Reeves Point at Kingscote.
In 1838, after the death of his beautiful young wife Lucy, a heart-broken T.H. Beare moved to Adelaide with his children and established a farm at Netley.
His home, later demolished, was named “Netley” after Netley Abbey in Hampshire, England, the county where he was born.
Thomas’s daughter Elizabeth, age 2, became famous as the first of the new arrivals to land at Kingscote. Tragically Elizabeth died in a fire at the Netley home when her clothing caught alight. She was only 12 years of age.
There is some debate as to whether Elizabeth was indeed the first to step onto the island. Read more
The romantic story, true or not, is that as the Duke of York reached anchorage in Nepean Bay there was considerable bickering among the passengers about who would be the first to set foot on the new land.
Captain Robert Morgan decided to resolve the matter by instructing second mate Robert Russell to take the toddler Elizabeth and row her to shore to be the “first”.
Beare Avenue and Beare Reserve in the West Torrens Council area have been named to honour the famous pioneer family.
The ceremony held in perfect weather on July 27 was very well attended.
Several people, including Mayor John Trainer of the City of West Torrens, spoke glowingly of T.H. Beare’s role in the South Australian Company and the establishment of the state of South Australia.
Following the memorial unveiling, Mayor Trainer, caught up with KI Pioneers’ Association (KIPA) member Neil Miller, who is a proud T.H. Beare descendant.
Also present for the unveiling ceremony were current KIPA president Gil Daw and former presidents Bruce Williams, also a Beare descendant, as well as Dene and Neville Cordes.