Anniversary of First Fleet celebrated at museum

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A PLAQUE commemorating 225 years since the First Fleet sailed from Portsmouth to colonise Australia has been unveiled.

The Britain-Australia Society held a black-tie dinner at the Royal Marines Museum in Eastney and also marked 25 years since the re-enactment of the famous sailing.

The man who led the fleet in 1987 was Dr Johnathan King, a relative of Philip Gidley King who was a second lieutenant onboard HMS Sirius during the original voyage in 1787.

He delivered a keynote address in front of 144 guests including the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Vice Admiral Philip Andrew Jones, Brigadier David King, deputy Australian high commissioner Adam McCarthy and chairman of the Britain-Australia Society John Allen.

Also at the event was 83-year-old Captain Adrian Small, who captained the famous HMS Bounty during the First Fleet re-enactment, and was one of the last captains to sail square-rigged tall ships and carry commercial cargo.

Dr King said: ‘It was beyond my wildest expectations. Portsmouth City Council, the Britain-Australia Society and the Royal Marines all put on a fantastic celebration.’

The evening also included the Royal Marines Band and was organised by chairman of Portsmouth’s Britain-Australia Society, Brian Hall.

Left short for pic, it features Brian Hall, Adrian Small and Cheryl Buggy,