IMG_0574The Canadian Flagpole at Regatta Point, has a delightful history. It is a 39 metre (150 foot) single spar of Douglas Fir and weighs 7.1 tonnes.

It was a gift from the Canadian Government in 1957 and was offered to Australia as a memento of the visit of the Canadian Deputy Prime Minister in 1955. It had also been offered to the Australian government during the 1930s but was declined because at that time there was no way to transport it from Sydney.

The timber, upon arrival in Sydney, underwent a fascinating preparation time before being erected on the Regatta Point site. For ‘quarantine reasons’ it was submerged in Sydney Harbour for a number of days, then transported to Canberra on three railway trucks. When it arrived in Canberra it was kept damp and treated with chemicals in a specially made bath for three weeks to help protect the timber from the elements it would experience in the future.

The Australian flag is flown from the flagpole, except on Canada’s national day, 1 July, when the Canadian flag is flown. The Canadian Flagpole was affectionately nicknamed ‘Polly’ by those who worked on the preparation and placement of it.

keyBecause of the pole’s length, a crane had to follow the truck and four-wheeled-trolley upon which it was transported en route to Regatta Point. This was to lift the trolley back on to the road each time it veered off. It must have been a very peculiar sight!