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Mount Lofty Summit – Commemorative plaque honouring Thomas Charles Hockridge, the stonemason who built the Obelisk later known as Flinders Column in 1885. Cleland Conservation Park Mount Lofty Ranges South Australia

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Mount Lofty Summit - Commemorative plaque honouring Thomas Charles Hockridge, the stonemason who built the Obelisk later known as Flinders Column in 1885. Cleland Conservation Park Mount Lofty Ranges South Australia

Mount Lofty Summit 710.1m above sea level: was sighted and named by Captain Matthew Flinders from Kangaroo Island.

COMMEMORATIVE OBELISK ON MOUNT LOFTY
On Monday afternoon, the 2nd instant, a preliminary meeting of the following gentlemen—the Hon Captain Bagot, Hon John Morphett, Messrs W S Douglas, Neville Blyth, Arthur Hardy, William Hanson. H H Turton, and Nathaniel Oldham was held in the Imperial-chambers for the purpose of considering the above subject, which had been publicly suggested by the Hon Captain Bagot. [Ref: Adelaide Observer July 1867]

1885 – The Obelisk was built as a trigonometric survey station used to establish latitude and longitude of places near Adelaide. It stands 16.5 metres tall and replaced a wooden trig point which rose from a cairn of stones.
The obelisk was built by Thomas Charles Hockridge, stonemason.

VISIT OF WARSHIP ‘SAIDA’ by Special Reporter
The ‘Saida’ is the second Austrian man-of-war to visit Australia, and the first to make a call on South Australia.

I have to thank Commander Eibenbruck for giving me the opportunity of welcoming an Austrian man-of-war to our waters, because Port Adelaide, for some unknown reason, was left out of his original programme. The commander very kindly showed me a copy of his programme in detail, and the orders were to proceed from Albany to Melbourne. "But," said the commander, "I heard so much about Adelaide, the grandeur of the city, and the hospitality of the people that I thought it would be a pity to pass by without making a call." The Austrian Government have ordered the Saida to be back by Christmas.

During our very pleasant chat Commander Eibenbruck told me of a pleasant outing he and some of his officers had on Monday. At the invitation of Mr Max Andresen, of Messrs Pfaff, Pinschof, & Co, they were driven to Mount Lofty. Mr Andresen is a partner of the Austrian Consul of Melbourne (Mr Pinschof), and he carried out the arrangements of the outing splendidly. At 10 o’clock a start was made in two carriages. At the Eagle-on-the-Hill the party halted for refreshments. Up to this point the drive had been most enjoyable, and all hands were delighted with the scenery. "We greatly admired the beautiful views citywards from the hills," said the commander. The journey was continued to Mount Lofty, and the walk up to the obelisk on the Mount thoroughly enjoyed. "We were all very much astonished at the magnificence of the view from the Mount," remarked the commander, who seems to have been much impressed with our hills. One of the officers had taken his photographic apparatus with him and succeeded in obtaining some fine views. At Mount Lofty an excellent luncheon had thoughtfully been provided, and when the party had marked their appreciation of the good things supplied, a group was formed outside the hotel, and with the hostess in the centre a good photo of the excursionists was secured. [Ref: Evening Journal (Adelaide) Wednesday 21-1-1891]

1902 – Centenary – Flinders Column in honour of Matthew Flinders Commander of the Investigator who from Kangaroo Head, Kangaroo Island, discovered and named Mount Lofty on Tuesday 23 March 1802.
A tablet was unveiled and the column named by His Excellency Lord Tennyson, Governor South Australia, 22 March 1902.

HONOURING CAPTAIN FLINDERS AT MOUNT LOFTY
The beautiful weather on Saturday induced a large number of city and rural residents to attend at Mount Lofty to witness the unveiling of the Flinders’ Column by his Excellency Lord Tennyson. The column—the white obelisk, 50ft high, which for many years has served as a landmark to mariners coming up the gulf—was originally intended as a monument to the illustrious navigator who sighted and named Mount Lofty 100 years ago, but for some reason it was never recognized as such.

The suggestion that it should be dedicated and named on the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the mount was, however, most fitting, and that the pioneer navigator has a warm spot in the sentiments of the populace was shown by the representative attendance. In addition to the vice-regal party and other distinguished persons, there were present several relatives of the great explorer, while relics which once belonged to Flinders were thoughtfully exhibited.

A block of Monarto granite had been inserted into the stone column about 10ft from the ground, and to this was attached a gunmetal plate bearing the following inscription:—"Flinders’ column. In honour of Matthew Flinders, commander of the Investigator, who from Kangaroo Head. Kangaroo Island, discovered and named Mount Lofty on Tuesday, March 23, 1802. This tablet was unveiled and the column named by his Excellency Lord Tennyson. March 22, 1902."
After Lord Tennyson had dedicated the column he pulled aside the Union Jack (which was used in connection with the funeral of Messrs C A Wells and G L Jones, the explorers who perished in West Australia in 1897) and revealed the inscription. At the call of the Hon J H Gordon (the Attorney General) a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Lord Tennyson, while cheers in memory of Captain Flinders concluded the proceedings. [Ref: Mount Barker Courier and Onkaparinga and Gumeracha Advertiser (SA) Friday 28-3-1902]

1911 The Obelisk was whitewashed to make it more visible to ships in St Vincent’s Gulf.
1929 The Summit was declared a reserve under the National Pleasure Resort Act of 1914.
1938 An aerial beacon was installed on the Obelisk and remained until after World War Two.
1942 – 1944 The Summit was under the control of the Defence Department until the end of the war.
1979 Extensions made to tearooms with addition of a kiosk and restaurant built around the base of the Obelisk.
1980 Ash Wednesday bushfires 20 February – destroying 8,000 hectares mostly within the Stirling Council District.
1982 The Mount Lofty Fire Tower was built and stands 34 metres tall. The fire tower is the focal point for all fire spotting activities throughout the Mount Lofty Ranges.
1983 Ash Wednesday II bushfires devastated the Adelaide Hills in February. The restaurant and kiosk at the Summit were destroyed and most of Cleland Conservation Park.
1984 Exactly one year after the second Ash Wednesday disaster, a ceremony took place at Mount Lofty Summit which began with the rolling of the monastery bell in the ruins of the nearby St Michael’s House.
1997 The Mount Lofty summit Visitor Centre opened January 20 and was officially opened by Premier John Olsen 27 February.
1997 The aerial beacon was restored and positioned again on the Obelisk.

HOCKRIDGE – BUILDER – OBIT
Mr Thomas Charles Hockridge, who died at Wallaroo on Feb 4 was a son of Mr Thomas Hockridge senior of Goodwood and was born at Plymouth, England on 21 October 1851. At the age of 18 he visited America, but returned to England.
At 20 he again went to America working as a stonemason: to San Francisco, arriving Sydney 20 August 1875 on board ‘MacGregor’ via Honolulu and Auckland.

He married Miss Agnes Adelaide, daughter of the late Mr John Glendinning of Magill.

Soon after arriving in South Australia he accepted a position of foreman to the firm of Messrs Brown and Thompson, and in 1880 started contracting on his own account: erecting many of the public and private building in and around Adelaide.

In 1890 he went to Watervale and was occupied in farming until 1901 when he came to Wallaroo and started business as a general storekeeper and ship chandler.
In 1904 he passed the grocery business over to his eldest son (Mr T R Hockridge) and the drapery business over to the third son (Mr S G Hockridge) and since had been engaged in the building and furnishing trade.

He left besides a widow five sons and three daughters. Besides the sons mentioned above there are Mounted Constables W J and P H Hockridge of Adelaide and Gawler respectively, and Mr R C Hockridge of Wallaroo. The three daughters are Misses Hilda, Annie and Muriel Hockridge of Wallaroo. [Ref: Chronicle (Adelaide 13-2-1909]

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