The beginnings of bureaucracy

In 1845, the colony of South Australia was less than ten years old. But already, files were being created and documents saved as a bureacracy took its first steps alongside the colony.

Here’s a letter that made me smile. Dated 18 July 1845, it’s from Thomas Lipson to Captain O’Halloran requesting the loan of a cart for conveyance of a mast.

Loan of a cart

Loan of a cart

He says – Dear O’Halloran, I think there is a cart belonging to the Engineers Department – could you have it sent down this afternoon or tomorrow, to take a mast and a few things that I want to send up for the flagstaff at Government House, and I will send the men up on Monday morning to get on with it. Yours very truly, Thos Lipson

Government House Adelaide is the oldest government house in Australia. The earliest part, the east wing, was completed in 1840. Extensions were added in 1846. And the letter makes me wonder – does the same flagstaff still stand at Government House?

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