Canada Bay
© Copyright Mike Fernandes 2013

Canada Bay is a suburb in the Inner West of Sydney named

after a bay on the Parramatta River. The actual suburb of

Canada Bay sits on the southern side of the bay and is next to

the suburbs of Burwood and Croydon.

In December 2000 the merger of Concord and Drummoyne

councils led to the City of Canada Bay being formed.

Canada Bay gets its name from a link formed between

Australia and Canada following the Lower Canada Rebellion of

1837 to 1838.

During 1837 the political, social, and economic stance of the

French Canadians of Quebec came to a head when their

claims for constitutional reform were rejected. A rebellion broke

out in November 1837. The British troops were superior and

the rebels were no match and were soon captured and tried.

After the trials, some were executed, some were sent to

Bermuda, the remainder sentenced to be exiled to Australia.

in February 1840, 2 Irish and 58 French Canadian rebels,

deported to Australia by the local Catholic bishop, arrived in

Port Jackson in the hold of the "Buffalo" after being 5 months

at sea. They were imprisoned at Longbottom Stockade which

is approximately where the pavilion of the Concord Oval

stands today.

The history of Longbottom Stockade starts around 1793 where

an overnight detention centre for convicts moving between the

townships of Sydney and Parramatta was built and

established. This stockade was called Longbottom (a northern

English word meaning swampy or boggy ground) and for the

next 40 years or so it was to be used as an overnight stopping

point, a local prison, a work camp, police barracks,

government farm and timber mill, and agistment land for police

horses and government oxen but by 1840 much of the area

was unused. In the 1840's it took on a new role as a detention

centre for the French Canadian political exiles.

Longbottom Stockade was a cramped area but the prisoners

were not subjected to the harsh treatment handed out to most

other convicts mostly due to the ill health of the

superintendant, an alcoholic with terminal venereal disease.

Their jobs were to break stone & rocks and collect oyster

shells for making lime for the building of Parramatta Road and

for milling timber. In 1842 the French Canadians were granted

a little freedom and were allowed to work outside the prison.

During 1843 and 1844 pardons were awarded to all the

Canadian prisoners and all but three returned to Canada - two

having died during their exile and one, Joseph Marceau, who

settled in Dapto after marrying an Australian woman.

After the rebellions, the Australian Governor General and Lord

High Commissioner to Canada recommended that Britain grant

responsible self-government to the Union of Upper and Lower

Canada. In the 1850s, the Australian Colonies achieved

responsible government and parliamentary democracy.

A bilingual memorial monument to the Canadian exiles now

stands in Bayview Park. The plaque was originally unveiled in

Cabarita on 18 May 1970 by Pierre Trudeau, the then Prime

Minister of Canada and was moved to its current location in


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