On this day, April the 29th, 1770, then Lieutenant James Cook and around 50 marines landed on the shores of what is now known as Botany Bay, shot at two Gweagle men and stole several items including a shield and spears. It signalled the first day of a British invasion, the legacy of which is still being felt. Today, around forty people gathered at the landing spot where these events first occured 247 years ago. Speakers spoke powerfully about the consequences of that day, claiming this anniversary - not the one marking January 26, 1788 - as the true first day of invasion.
Rodney Kelly, the organizer of the gathering and descendant of one of the Gweagle men shot by Cook's party, pointed out that some of the convicts who were subsequently sent here, were done so for simply stealing a loaf of bread, yet the British colonialists stole an entire continent without consequence. Richard Green sang and spoke with passion and humour, with support from Sharon Lee and Ronald Jemmott. Other speakers included Uncle Ken Canning and Elizabeth Jarrett.