Province of Bumbunga

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Province of Bumbunga
Micronation
Flag Coat of Arms
Anthem: God Save the Queen
Official languages English
Organizational structure Autonomous British colony
 -  Governor Alex Brackstone
Establishment
 -  Declared 29 March 1976 
Area claimed
 -  Total 0.04 km2
0 sq mi
Membership less than five permanent residents
Purported Currency Australian Dollar

The Province of Bumbunga (33°54′54″S 138°13′44″E / 33.915°S 138.229°E / -33.915; 138.229 (Bumbunga Province)Coordinates: 33°54′54″S 138°13′44″E / 33.915°S 138.229°E / -33.915; 138.229 (Bumbunga Province)) was an Australian secessionist micronation located on a farm at Bumbunga near Snowtown and Lochiel, (northeast of Adelaide), South Australia during the 1970s and 1980s for approximately a decade.

The Province was founded by a British immigrant to Australia named Alex Brackstone, a former circus monkey-trainer, uranium prospector and postmaster.

In November, 1975, the Australian Labor Party government of Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam was dismissed under controversial circumstances, by Governor-General John Kerr. Under the Australian system of constitutional monarchy, Kerr was the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in Australia. Brackstone was an ardent British monarchist, and becoming alarmed by what he saw to be a drift towards republicanism as a result of this set of circumstances, resolved to do what he could to ensure that at least part of the Australian landmass would always remain loyal to the British Crown.[1][2]

A 1979 aerial photograph, facing north, of the Province of Bumbunga showing the gigantic strawberry patch shaped like Great Britain.
A 2006 photograph of the south western gate of the former Province of Bumbunga. This entrance faces east towards the location of Cornwall as shown in the 1979 photograph

To that end he declared his four-hectare property to be independent of Australia as the Province of Bumbunga on 29 March 1976 and assumed the position of and style of "Governor". Brackstone then set about attracting tourism by building a huge scale model of Great Britain in his backyard, using thousands of strawberry plants. He intended to conduct weddings on this facility, during which soil from the appropriate county would be sprinkled on the ground. The Australian Customs Service prevented the implementation of this plan by seizing the soil Brackstone attempted to import from the UK, and the whole enterprise failed when the strawberry plants died during a drought.

In 1980 Bumbunga began issuing postage stamps (actually Cinderella stamps as they cannot be used for postage) with British monarchist themes (except Sarah Ferguson, whom Brackstone disliked), and these proved very popular with collectors. He produced 15 series, with 5000 copies issued.[3] Later issues also embraced anti-nuclear themes, but changes to Australian investment laws reducing the attraction of philatelic investments led Brackstone to abandon his commercial operations in 1987, and Bumbunga thereafter slid into relative oblivion until 1999, when he faced court on illegal firearms charges, and apparently unsuccessfully claimed immunity from prosecution due to his status as its Governor. Brackstone subsequently returned permanently to the UK.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  • Local Stamps of Australia by Bill Hornadge, pub Review Publications, Dubbo, NSW, 1st ed. 1982, pp 49–52.
  • Cinderellas Australasia, Vol 2, No 1, Jan 1985, ISSN 0814-2971 p11
  • Cinderellas Australasia, Vol 3, No 3, Aug 1986, ISSN 0814-2971 p62
  • Stamp News, Vol 34, No 6, Jun 1986, p38
  • Mark Dapin (2005-02-12). "If at first you don't secede..". Sydney Morning Herald - Good Weekend.  pp 47–50
  1. ^ Ryan, John (2006). Micronations. Lonely Planet. p. 144. 
  2. ^ Robins, Danny (16 September 2010). "DANNY ROBINS' INDIE TRAVEL GUIDE - THE WORLD SMALLEST COUNTRIES". BBC. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Bumbunga". Le Monde des Timbres. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 

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