Speech by Mrs. E. G. Brown at Opening the 'Alfred' Bridge
23 October, 1867 Tumut and Adelong Times
The ceremony of opening the 'Alfred' Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at South Gundagai was performed by Mrs. E, G. Brown, wife of the Parliamentary member for the district, who on that memorable occasion delivered the following speech: -
Ladies and Gentlemen. - You are now aware that the Government has done me the high honor of appointing me to name the splendid bridge upon which we stand by the title of Alfred.
In the fitness and propriety of that name I am sure you will all agree, apart from the fact that it is borne by the young sailor Prince, the first illustrious scion of the Royal House of England that has visited the soil of Australia.
The name of Alfred is, in itself, a royal one, incorporated with the history of our race, and venerated upon every land where they have found a home.
Ten centuries ago, and our people struggling in barbarism yet yearning for the light of knowledge, found in that name a rallying point and guiding star.
Urged by his counsels, in cited by his examples, the spirit in-fused by Alfred the Great has never been extinguished, but each succeeding generation has seen it grow stronger and brighter till it has culminated in the glorious civilisation we now enjoy in the huge world of wonders we can exhibit, not the least of which will be hereafter remembered as the Alfred Bridge at South Gundagai.
For the rest I can only express the earnest hope that this bridge will become all that the Government desires, and that you anticipate.
That it will not stand alone as a monument of human ingenuity, but become a constantly increasing public blessing; that it will bind not only the soil but the people, and as it offers us a safe passage over the physical dangers of the Murrumbidgee, so may it equally bear us above all narrow feelings of to-day, and build us up into an united and prosperous community.
On Friday last we witnessed the driving of the first pile by steam of the permanent approach to the Gundagai Bridge. As a number of the piles are already driven, we have no fear that under the personal superintendence of Mr. Bailie, the contractor, they will now be rapidly put in their places.
Gundagai Bridge Tolls. — Mr. T. Henderson, of South Gundagai, has been appointed by Government to the temporary office of toll-taker, until such time as the tolls are sold or leased.