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Celebrating Canberra Day - one hundred and eleven years after the foundation stones were laid

8 March 2024

Fred's great-grandson, Brian Banyard, next to our new pop-up display
Fred's great-grandson, Brian Banyard, next to our new pop-up display

Most Canberrans know that we have a public holiday every year on the second Monday in March. Many probably have some idea that we come together on that day to celebrate the existence of the Nation's capital which grew slowly out of the rolling hills of the Limestone Plains.

Very few people know about a self-made master builder named Fred Young who, as the Federal Capital Territory's first Clerk of Works, was instrumental in constructing and positioning the foundation stones for new capital's naming ceremony in 1913.

We have an interesting 'pop-up' display about Fred and his many achievements at the Centre for visitors to enjoy.

Did you know:

  • he built the three-story extension to the Yarralumla Homestead, a project started in 1891 and which is now the Governor General's residence;
  • in 1905 he remodeled and extended the 1850s built Lanyon Homestead; and
  • he was commissioned to build a new twenty stand shearing shed at Yarralumla which still stands today and has become an important place for community events.

We can even brag that we have strong local connections to his family. Brian Banyard, a Hall village resident and Hall Men's Shedder, is Fred's great-grandson!

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