Jubilee 150 Collection

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Date range: 
1986 to 1986
South Australia,
Jubilee 150 Collection

South Australia celebrated the sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of European settlement in 1986.  A feature of the Jubilee 150 (J150) was the popular costume and social history exhibition Those Were The Days.  The exhibition was a project of the Women’s Executive Committee and was held in the Auditorium at John Martin’s Rundle Mall store between 22 August and 13 September.  The Committee donated most of the costumes and accessories to the Migration Museum, which opened in 1986.  The collection incorporates both originals and reproductions and an original catalogue.

The Jubilee 150 Collection has since expanded to incorporate any J150 memorabilia, including reproductions of 1836 Adelaide Royal Marines uniforms and souvenirs featuring the J150 logo and ‘J.W.’ the wombat, the J150 mascot.

Each significant anniversary of European settlement in South Australia since 1836 (major dates being 1886 [50th], 1936 [100th] and 1986 [150th]) has had a particular flavour, spirit and/or atmosphere, reflecting South Australian society at that time.  Jubilee 150 (1986) was a particularly well-coordinated and well-funded celebration.  It was potentially the last time that an anniversary of European settlement would be ‘celebrated’, rather than ‘marked’, in South Australia.  Protests about the celebratory nature of the 1988 Australian Bicentenary, and the consequent Reconciliation movement, have meant that future anniversaries are likely to pay greater heed to the impact of European settlement on Indigenous Australians.
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