Recently I was in Sydney for the weekend, doing the family thing and my sister suggested we go to Government House and take one of their guided tours. I thought about it and realised I had never been there.
We took the train into town and got off at Circular Quay, that place is alive with activity so much to do and see. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to do a tour of Government House, Sydney Harbour was at its best so inviting… Why not just stay here.
However today it was about Government House, so we walk passed all the other ‘fun stuff’ like taking the ferry to Manly (which I love) passed the Opera House with all the hordes of High School students enjoying their school excursion and through to the Botanical Gardens.
It was a glorious day on the Harbour, not the best time to take photos with the sun on the water but none the less breathtaking. We followed the signage and the pathway to the entrance of Government House and collected our pass for the guided tour for 1pm we didn’t realise at the time we were in for a treat.
Lenard was our guide, he was a hive of information, spoke in detail about the Gothic architecture and the history of Government House construction. The time frame it took to build and the constant struggle to create a beautiful Government House for New South Wales. Waiting for months or years for an answer from the homeland, with limited means to communicate unlike we are accustomed too. We learnt a lot about the architecture, furnishings, wall paper and ceiling restoration bringing this beautiful building back to its former glory and elegance.
The thing I enjoyed the most was the human element. Lenard went to great lengths to bring the past into the future, talking about the Governors and their struggles. And while I was listening I couldn’t help but think about the books by Edward Vivian Timms those wonderful novels about the early struggles of Australian life and the links with the old country.
I enjoyed my afternoon at Government House, ‘High Tea’ in the drawing room would have been nice but I wasn’t invited.