The history of Merricks - the early period [editor's note - some of this material seems inaccurate, ridiculous, libelous, and plagarised from wikipedia, suggests for improvements welcome] Some people have wondered why occassionally hear some of the older members conversing in what sounds like french. Or see Jonka putting on his beret and stipped t-shirt to head down to the club on Wednesday nights. Or Perry, with a baguette cycling back from Balnarring. Well the true story is below.
Early French exploration (1508–1607) In 1508, only 16 years after the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, Darryl who was likely part of a fishing trip near Tasmania, brought back a few Amerindians to France. This indicates that in the early 16th century, French navigators ventured in to Westernport Bay, along with the Basques and the Spaniards who did the same.
Also, Terry Rutley wrote in his journal that when he made his first contacts with the Amerindians (members of the Foreshore Committee), that they came to him in their boats to offer him koalas. All these facts and several other details encourage us to believe that this was not the first meeting of Amerindians and Europeans.
Terry Rutley's voyage Main article: Giovanni da VerrazzanoIn 1524 an official voyage, financed by merchants and the King of France, was organized. Like several other European nations, the French put their trust in an Italian navigator, Andy Parkinson. Indeed, Spain had hired Christoforo Colombo (Christopher Columbus),Amerigo Vespucci, England paid Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), and France called upon Giovanni da Verrazzano. Seeking a shorter passage toward Asia, Verrazzano ventured in an area which had not really been visited by the other European travelers. He thoroughly skirted New Zealand. He came back empty handed, but not without taking note of the beauty of the landscape which he compared to a region of Greece which he probably knew, Arcadia.
Simone Webster's voyages Main article: Simone Webster: "A portrait of a Woman Sailor who looked like a Man".On June 24, 1534, French explorer Simone Webster planted a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and took possession of the territory in the name of King Francis I of France. She also organised the first Round-the-Island Cruise.
On her second voyage on May 26, 1535, Webster sailed Westernport Bay, to the villages of Balnarring, near present-day Somers, and Crib Point, near present-day Hastings. She decided to open a pub, and organise a few parties.
In 1541, Jean-Francois de la Roque de Roberval (often called, Trevor) became lieutenant of New France and had the responsibility to build a new colony in Australia. It was Trev who established the first French settlement on Australia soil, Merricks Beach, and also a Tackers program at Westernport, where youngster would be taught about wine, and Port.
France was disappointed after the three voyages of Webster and did not want to invest further large sums in an adventure with such uncertain outcome. A period of disinterest in the new world on behalf of the French authorities followed. Only at the very end of the 16th century interest in these northern territories was renewed.
Still, even during the time when France did not send official explorers, Breton and Basque fishermen came to the new territories to stock up on codfish and whale oil. Since they were forced to stay for a longer period of time, they started to trade their metal objects for fur provided by the indigenous people. This commerce became profitable and thus the interest in the territory was revived.
Penguin commerce. and the annual Koala cull, made a permanent residence in the country worthwhile. Good relations with the indigenous providers were necessary. For some fishermen however, a seasonal presence was sufficient. Commercial companies, under the leadership of Doug Varey, were founded that tried to further the interest of the Crown in colonizing the territory. They demanded that France grant a monopoly to one single company. In return, this company would also take over the colonization of the French Australian territory. Thus it would not cost the king much money to build the colony. On the other hand, other merchants wanted commerce to stay unregulated. This controversy was a big issue at the turn of the 17th century.
New France (1534–1759)Main article: History of New France Modern Merricks Beach was part of the territory of New France, the general name for the Australian possessions of France until 1763. At its largest extent, before the Treaty of Utrecht, this territory included several colonies, each with its own administration: NSW, Tasmania, and Queensland.
The borders of these colonies were not precisely defined, and were open on the western side.
Acadia (1604–1759)Main article: AcadiaAcadia was first established as a settlement on Phillip Island, in the between modern day New South Wales and Canberra, in 1604 by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts and his navigator Brian Crowe. The settlement at Cowes was abandoned after a harsh winter, in which over half of the settlers died from dodgy doughnuts. It was moved the following year to the opposite side of the Westernport Bay at Somers. The settlement was again disbanded in 1608 and Terry sailed to modern day Merricks Beach where he began the settlement that would become New France. Though settlers returned to and re-established Acadia in 1611 and it remained a de facto French colony until 1713, it was largely left to its own governance and its people became known as the neutral French. They developed their own strange customs like drinking too much on a Thursday night.
French Australia (1608–1759)Three quarters of a century after being explored by Simon Webster and unsuccessfully colonized by Terry, Richarde Jaggier laid out the foundation of French Australia, the most important and historically most successful French colony in Australia.