An alternative header to this article might have been – ‘What’s In A Name?’.
Well, the City of Fremantle is wondering what we, the residents, the good burghers of the City, would like to call King’s Square.
We can hear some of you loudly responding already – ‘KING’S SQUARE!’.
And many will get that.
But it was given that name some 190 years ago by a naming committee comprised of relatively young white males who did not think to consult the Whadjuk Noongar folk whose boodja/homeland had just been taken from them without so much as a Beg Your Pardon, or a Thank You.
The whole Colony was then settled by the newcomers and anything approaching a significant natural feature lost its hitherto Indigenous name, and was usually given a new one that so often reminded the new settlers of the old place they’d just left behind. A little ironic when you think about it. York, WA, for example, apparently reminded Ensign Dale and some in his exploratory party of the rolling hills of Yorkshire, England.
There is a case for renaming things. The ‘King Leopold Ranges’ in the Kimberleys, for example, is no more. Adopting a Noongar perspective of our local landscape might be considered not a bad thing. A small way by which to reconcile the disruptive, not to mention, violent past. One suspects many will agree. But not all.
The City of Perth now has Yagan Square. Perhaps it’s time for Freo to have Midgegooroo Square. After all, Midgegooroo was Yagan’s father.
In February this year, when this question was raised in a preliminary way, opinions differed.
Anyway, the City of Freo said today, it wants to know what we all think!
HAVE YOUR SAY ON KINGS SQUARE NAME, the City commands, before observing –
‘The historic heart of Fremantle is being transformed into a vibrant city centre with a host of fantastic new public facilities and features.
‘As part of our preparations for the opening, we’re exploring the possibility of renaming the space known as ‘Kings Square’.
‘Visit mysay.fremantle.wa.gov.au/ks-name to share your thoughts with us by 1 November 2020. Check out the Kings Square video on our YouTube channel.’
So folks, Have Your Say right here!
And please Contact Us With your ideas too. We’d love to hear them!