The Pioneer of Yass

The Mercury, Hobart

26 December 1908

The pioneer of Yass. Name for Federal Capital.

A correspondent in the "Sydney Morning Herald" writes: -

Yass-Canberra having now secured the proud position of being the elect of Australia as the territory within which the future Federal capital city will be located, we anticipate in the near future experts will be sent out to select the most suitable site from the many beautiful ones presenting themselves.

Undoubtedly the selection of Yass-Canberra is a wise one, and future generations will bless the foresight of their forefathers in selecting such an ideal spot for the seat of Government.

Probably the Great Barren Jack weir (one of the finest bodies of water in the world) was a factor in determining the site, and if such is the case the capital will be built as near as possible to the great lake with a water frontage to the foreshores of same, thus giving residents of the city easy access to what will be one of the greatest pleasure resorts in Australia.

After the site is selected will come another very important event, and that is the selection of a name for the "infant city."

If it is in close proximity to Yass or to the weir, as I anticipate it will be, might I humbly suggest that we name the city 'Hume' as a tribute, and a slight compliment to the memory of the late Hamilton Hume, the explorer.

He was the first white man who came to Yass district, and who risked his life in opening up this country, and so impressed was he with the beautiful natural surroundings, the equable climate, the fertile appearance of the soil, and the score of other advantages that presented themselves to the observant eyes of this keen and brave bushman that he decided to make his home here in preference to any other part that he had explored.

In recognition for services rendered in exploration, the powers then being offered Hamilton Hume a grant of land anywhere that be chose, and his choice fell on Yass district and the 'chosen land' embraced Humewood, Euralie, and Marchmont Estates, all of which still belong to descendants of the Hume family.

The great explorer built a home for himself close to Yass, lived there through the balmy days of manhood, and by his energy helped to build up the district of his choice to a prominent position in the forefront of importance, and is the fullness of years his spirit passed away to join the great ancestral multitude, and his mortal remains are interred in the land he did so much for, and loved so dearly - Yass.

"What a great man be must have been, and how must he have been gifted with observation and foresight, and what a great compliment our Australian Parliament have now paid him by endorsing his selection of Yass as the 'eye' of the land, and fixing on it as a worthy spot wherein to locate the Australian capital. In the face of those facts, and as a tribute to the memory of one who had so much to do in building up the 'chosen land,' it would come as a graceful compliment to name the Federal capital 'Hume,' and thus do honour to the earliest pioneer of Yass."