Posted by: travelrat | September 3, 2012

Light’s Vision

Adelaide: 13th April 2012.

Tomorrow, we leave for Darwin, and today, I went into the city centre to return the car. It was a bright sunny morning, so I took advantage of it to take some more photographs. The main object was ‘Light’s Vision’, which shows a good panorama of the city, and is the subject of many a picture postcard. This is what it’s all about …

I’ve already posted about how HMS Buffalo, with the first settlers arrived in Holdfast Bay, and it could have turned out that the State capital may have established itself around Glenelg. But then, along came an Engineer officer, Colonel William Light. He established his city around an insignificant creek with delusions of grandeur called the Torrens River. And, he planned everything. The city centre would be laid out in straight lines and squares, and would be precisely one mile a side, and surrounded by inviolate parkland. The Torrens ‘river’ would be dammed, to form Torrens Lake.

From the city, roads to other places would radiate out, like spokes of a wheel … I’ve often thought you could live in Adelaide all your life, and never make a right turn!

They immortalised him by putting his statue on a knoll overlooking the city, in the direction of which he’s pointing, and seemingly saying something like:

‘We’ll put the ANZ Bank there, and Parliament House over there. And, we’ll call it ‘Adelaide’, after our dear Queen!

I like to think of a conversation he may have had with his faithful Sergeant:

‘Don’t you think, Sir, it might be better to call it after the King?’

‘No, there are plenty of Williamstowns and Williamsburgs in the world already. Besides, posterity might think I called it after myself, like that Macquarie chap. But, we’ll call the main street King William Street. That ought to keep the old bugger happy!’

But, he didn’t stop there.

‘Let’s have a residential suburb around here, laid out on a similar grid-iron pattern. Any ideas on what we might call it, Sergeant?’

‘How about ‘North Adelaide’, Sir?’

‘Yes; that might work!’

Later, beyond Adelaide, he came upon a beautiful valley, which reminded him of an area in Spain, in which he’d once campaigned. Barrosa. And, here, I must apologise to the Chateau Barrosa. In a previous post, I said they spelt ‘Barossa’ wrongly. They didn’t; Colonel Light did.


  1. Good old Colonel Light. That’s a great photo of the statue. I can’t get over how blue the sky is!

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