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Sydney Harbour Bridge

Board of Studies NSW

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  2. Building The Bridge
  3. Five million rivets: The timeline
  4. 75th Anniversary
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75th Anniversary Celebrations – 2007

75th anniversary

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary. Photo by Anna Sabiel.


75th anniversary

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary.
Photo by Anna Sabiel.

One of the schools that participated in the 1932 celebrations was Parramatta High School. The school also participated in the walk across the Bridge on the 75th anniversary on 19 March 2007. Have a look at the web page that Parramatta High School set up to record their role in the 75th anniversary walk.

Communicate

Design your own web page on the 75th Anniversary celebrations using your own photos of the Bridge Walk or other celebrations on the day. You can also simply google ‘Sydney Harbour Bridge – 75th anniversary’


Our Bridge

One commentator said that ‘the Bridge is the stage on which Sydney acts out its daily life but also its red-letter days’.

Study the images on the following pages to see how the Bridge has become a stage for Sydney’s life.

  • What ‘red-letter days’ are commemorated in the various images?
  • What is an icon? What have the various sources in this Unit suggested about the Sydney Harbour Bridge as an icon?
  • Caroline Mackanness, Curator of the Museum of Sydney and editor of Bridging Sydney (the handsome volume published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Bridge) has described the Bridge as ‘an icon, an instantly recognizable symbol of Sydney-ness’ (p.8)
  • To what extent do you think the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a national symbol, not just a Sydney one? Do Victorians, Queenslanders and other states share Sydneysiders’ feelings about the Bridge?
  • How does the Bridge compare with the Sydney Opera House as an ‘icon of Sydney-ness’?

Investigate

  • Conduct an opinion poll on ‘What the Bridge means to me’ among your family, friends, neighbours and interstate contacts. Your survey should include a range of ages.
  • Analyse the findings and see what conclusions you can draw about attitudes to the bridge based on your sample.
  • The images on the following pages relate to special events in the life of Sydney and the Bridge.
  • Arrange the images in their correct sequence and provide a short description of each event and a brief explanation of its significance.
  • A useful website scroll down to ‘Bridge Effects’ images showing New Year’s celebrations.

Communicate

  • Using some of these images, write a paragraph explaining how the significance of the Bridge has changed and developed over time.
  • Design a poster, stamp or medal that you think would be appropriate for the 100th anniversary celebration of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2032. How old will you be?
  • Design a brochure about the Sydney Harbour Bridge for international tourists visiting Sydney for the first time. Your brochure could include some information about:
    • features of the bridge which are most noteworthy
    • important highlights in the history of its construction
    • most interesting unusual facts about its history
    • what it means to Sydneysiders
    • pylon lookout – exhibitions and other resources
    • BridgeClimb – how to do it, testimonials from people who have climbed the Bridge.

The arch being constructed. Painting by Grace Cossington Smith (1926).

The arch being constructed.
Painting by Grace Cossington Smith (1926).
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Sydney_Harbour_Bridge#New_Year.
27s_.22Bridge_Effect.22

Australia celebrates January 26 - April 25, 1938

Australia celebrates January
26 – April 25, 1938.
Source: http://nla.gov.au/
nla.pic-an7944958

The Australian Numismatic Society 75th Anniversary medals.

The Australian Numismatic Society
75th Anniversary medals.
Source: http://the-ans.com/ans2007medal.jpg

Poster of Bridge opening celebrations

Poster of Bridge Opening celebrations.
Source: http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/
images1/sydney_bridge3.jpg

In 2000, the NSW Reconciliation Council worked closely with the NSW Government and the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation on Corroboree 2000 and the Sydney Harbour Bridge walk.

In 2000, the NSW
Reconciliation
Council worked closely with
the NSW Government and the
Council for Aboriginal
Reconciliation on Corroboree
2000 and the
Sydney Harbour Bridge walk.
Source: http://www.nswrecon.com/


SONGS

Happy Birthday song tribute for the 75th Anniversary of the Bridge Opening

Happy Birthday Harbour Bridge

Seventy five-years you have battled through
All around you, a changing view
And you’ve watched the Sydney skyline rise
You’ve breathed the air of polluted skies
Oh, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday, Harbour Bridge.

Dr Bradfield worked on your plans
Predicting the stresses that you’d withstand
And six million rivets went into your making
To keep you solid and stop you shaking
Oh, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday, Harbour Bridge.

In 1932 you were born
As Premier Lang looked on in scorn
A Captain de Groot on a horse rode by
And slashed the ribbon in the wink of an eye
Oh, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday, Harbour Bridge.

And you’ve carried the rich, you’ve carried the poor
The trams, the trains and a whole lot more
Like a giant coat hanger in the sky
Looking down as the ships go by
Oh, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday, Harbour Bridge.

For today’s traffic problems, it’s you they blame
But the problems were greater before you came
For people are very quick to forget
Without a bridge, we’d all get wet
Oh, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday, Harbour Bridge.

© Jim Low 1982 at http://jimlow.net/lyrics-bridge.htm – song lyrics and audio

New Years Eve fireworks on the Bridge.

New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Bridge.
Source: http://www.news.com.au/
common/imagedata/0,,5347632,00.jpg

Walkers on the Sydney Harbour Bridge's 75th Anniversary with LED caps.

Walkers on the Sydney Harbour
Bridge's 75th Anniversary
with LED caps.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Sydney_Harbour_Bridge#New_Year
.27s_.22Bridge_Effect.22

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