Index > 1839 Mt Bryan Expedition - Morgan

The 170th Anniversary of the Mt Bryan Expedition Commemoration Fair was held at Morgan on the banks of the River Murray on 12th December 2009.

The event was to commemorate the 170th Anniversary of the 1839 Mt Bryan Expedition led by Lt. Col. Gearge Gawler, Governor of South Australia and Captain Charles Sturt with a party of 13 other members, sailors and staff.

The expedition departed from Currency Creek on November 26th by land and boat and arrived at Nor West Bend at Morgan on December 10th, 1839.

As the expedition ended in tragedy surrounded by mystery and intrigue as to the disappearance of a young man on the expedition from England, Henry Bryan.  Henry was a house guest of the Governor.

Henry Bryan was never found, declared missing on a death certificate issued but never found to this day.

The concept of the event was developed by the Morgan Community Development and Tourism Association supported by the Mid Murray Council.

His excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, Governor of South Australia attended the Governor & Bryan boys event and enjoyed the re-enactment of the expedition's arrival in Morgan featuring 40 South Australian Sea and Riverland Scouts rowing eight kilometres from Nor West Bend into Morgan in wooden boats dressed in the sailor uniform of the 1800's.  (The governor is pictured above with two members of the BryanMt Bryan re-inactment plaque family who were here to take part in the re-inactment). The Governor also opened a plaque in memory of the expedition on the park.

Governor Gawler arrives at Morgan The Scouts were then joined by the Morgan community players who were cast as the members of the expedition party.

The narrative provided visitors to the event re-inactment at Morgan with an informative and creative summary of the personal interpretations of the explorers based on their diaries and reports produced in 1839 and 1840.

Apart from this successful event, one of the other Lookout plaque project outcomes was the Bryan Creek Historical Lookout where a plaque was unveilled on the Thursday 10th December by the Mayor of Morgan - Ian R. Mann.
Lookout information board This is a very beautiful lookout which is situated on the cliff top on the outskirts of Morgan overlooking the Lookout over Bryan Creek original campsite of the expedition at Nor West Bend at the Bryan Creek enterance to the Murray River.

Many thanks must go to Morgan tourism who have produced a booklet and a trail about the " Disappearance of Henry Bryan Trail "which you can download here (PDF format).  You can also pick up a copy of this trail from Morgan Visitors Centre  to discover the area that was travelled from Morgan toMt Bryan (near Burra) and understand the tremendous hardship and journey of the intrepid explorers.


Morgan wins award Morgan Community Development and Tourism Association wins Event of the Year award.
Mayor Ian Mann addressed a large crowd of spectators at the Australia Day breakfast held at Mannum and supported by the Lions club and Mid Murray Council. He made the presentation to John Forrester on behalf of the Committee, the award was given for The Best Event staged in the Mid Murray Tourism Group at Morgan Council District. Congratulations to all those people who put so much time and effort into a truly outstanding Event.
Thanks to MCDTA for this article

This was a great event and we would like to congratulate Morgan Community Development & Tourism Association on winning the Mid Murray Council Community Event of the Year Award for this event". 
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