Australian Centenary 1888 (AD)
Mint: Amor, Sydney
Other Details: Medal issued to commemorate the centenary of British settlement on the East coast of Australia on 26 January 1788. It incorporates the badge and motto of the colony of New South Wales, 'Orta Recens Quam Pura Nites' (recently risen, how brightly you shine). Medals made to commemorate the centenary were struck by the Sydney firm W.J. Amor in gold, silver and bronze and were awarded to 'prominent citizens and Shire Councils'.

Obverse Description

AUSTRALIA/JANUARY 26 1788 Britannia, seated l., leaning on shield, lighthouse behind at l., ship at r.

Reverse Description

ORTA RECENS QUAM PURA NITES/1888/AMOR Wreath of Australian flowers, Southern Cross, Rampant lion (Translation: Recently risen, how brightly you shine)

Edge Description



Centennial celebrations began in Sydney on 22 January 1888, when a large congregation gathered in St Andrew's Cathedral to listen to prayers for Queen and country, enlivened by a Hallelujah chorus. Alfred Barry, Primate of Australia, reminded the congregation that all that stood between them and barbarism were the monarchy, parliament and respect for law and order. Two days later 50,000 people gathered in King Street to witness Lord Carrington unveil a statue of Queen Victoria. Rousing patriotic speaches were enthusiastically received. Afterwards, prominent citizens hastened to a garden party at Government House. On 26 January the crowds again gathered, this time at Lachlan Swamp, to be given the more dignified and appropriate name of Centennial Park. Military bands played rousing tunes, and the governor mounted a dais erected for the vice-regal party, where he delievered a speech to rousing cheers. -Australian Coin Review. Vol.24 (9), March 1988, pp.21-25. -D. Tout-Smith 30/10/2003.

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