Image: Shirase expedition, Sydney, 1911 #15
Supporter in Sydney, George, his mother and younger sisters.
We presume this family is that of Dr George Read, Port Surgeon, who in 1911 lived at “Garryowen” on Fitzwilliam Road, Parsley Bay near the suspension bridge.
- © Penguin Do Pharmacy/Kazuyuki Miisho
Dr Read was an instrumental supporter of the Japanese visitors, arranging for a trench to be dug around their camp to redirect water run-off, and at a Vaucluse Council meeting in June 1911 he offered to look after the camp and ensure that the sanitary arrangements were observed. At this meeting he also confirmed the purely scientific intentions of the expedition, and the good behaviour of its members, whose camp “compared more than favourably with some of the quarters of their neighbours, who were sheltering in humpies, tents and boats.” Read was determined to “extend the hand of friendship to them while they are here”. [Singleton Argus Thursday 15 June 1911]
Dr Read was there in support on 22 June, when expedition members held a service, refreshments, and a demonstration of martial arts to celebrate the coronation of King George V. [Sydney Morning Herald 23 June 1911] The camp “was gay with bunting and other decorative work, and a notable feature was the entwining of the British and Japanese flags”, small versions of which were distributed to the children of the neighbourhood.
The Chancellor of the Japanese Consulate, Mr Hayashi, acted as interpreter, and offered the congratulations of the expedition and the Sydney Japanese community to the King and Queen of England. Dr Read thanked the Japanese on behalf of the gathered crowd.
See also Photo 19.