The naming of the capital
Australia’s federal capital was purpose-built from 1909, since neither Sydney nor Melbourne would agree to the other city becoming the capital. The new capital was named ‘Canberra’, apparently from the name of the indigenous people of the area. The capital’s name was kept a secret until it was read out by the Governor-General’s wife, Lady Gertrude Denman.
This film shows the ceremony on 12 March 1913 when the new-born federal capital was formally named. Governor-General Lord Denman and PM Andrew Fisher are seen proceeding to the saluting base where the Australian Light Horse, field battery and lance regiments and Royal Cadets are lined up for inspection. Many of the men in this footage would not return from Gallipoli, the Western Front and other battlefields.