Bishop Ernest Burgmann dedicating the cross near Lake Bathurst, 30 November 1935
On Sunday 29 November 1820 Governor Lachlan Macquarie and a party of officials and helpers camped beside Lake Bathurst on their return from a two-day visit to Lake George. Macquarie’s journal records that
“At 4 p.m. the whole of our Party, including our Servants, Carters &c. &c. being assembled in, and immediately under the Fly of my large Tent … the Revd. Mr. Cartwright performed Divine Worship, and gave us a very excellent appropriate Sermon, strongly impressing the justice, good Policy and expediency of Civilizing the Aborigines, or Black Natives of the Country, and Settling them in Townships.”
This is believed to be the first Christian service in what is now the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
In 1935 the diocese decided to erect a memorial on the site of the service. After detailed studies the NSW Surveyor-General determined that the site was almost certainly on a narrow strip of land between Lake Bathurst and The Morass. The site is on what is now the property “Bundong”.
The memorial, designed by Goulburn architects Manfred and Son and built by Westergren and Richards, was dedicated by Bishop Ernest Burgmann on 30 November 1935. Several descendants of members of the original party were present.