The Kanakas were NOT slaves. They were contracted labourers. They were free to return to Kanaky at the end of their contract. Most did
Calls to remove the name of slave trader Ben Boyd, who was responsible for ‘blackbirding’, from a leafy Sydney suburb have failed.
North Sydney Council will keep the name of Ben Boyd Rd in Neutral Bay and Cremorne, on the lower north shore of Sydney, after a former Green’s staffer created a petition to change the name.
The petition caused a stir in the community with the council then asked to consider a name change.
The road was named after a colonial entrepreneur who lived in Neutral Bay in the 1840s.
Boyd was known for pioneering the practice of using cheap labour from the South Sea islands to work in Australia. It is known as ‘blackbirding’.
After the petition was circulated the council asked constituents for their thoughts.
A survey was put forward and 2318 residents responded, 54.7 per cent opposed the renaming of the street while 44.3 per cent were in favour. Just 1.6 per cent were unsure.
The papers also said there were 20 council installed street signs referencing Ben Boyd Rd. The cost of replacing these would be about $6200.
There are also two plaques in the community commemorating Ben Boyd with the council preparing to alter these.
“The larger of these are soon to be reinstalled with another plaque outlining the story of Boyd’s place in Australia’s historical narrative,” council papers said.
“With that, the naming of Ben Boyd Road will be put in context, and residents and visitors can decide for themselves the nature of the man and his deeds.”
See also https://australian-politics.blogspot.com/2015/06/whistleblowers-warn-new-immigration.html (2nd post)