King O'Malley Facts



Image:The Honourable King O'Malley,
Minister of State for Home Affairs, driving
the first survey peg at Canberra Hill, in connection with the lay-out of the Federal City, 20th February 1913

1913 National Library of Australia

O’Malley personally drove the first survey peg
of the city in a ceremony in Canberra on 20 February 1913, just weeks before the larger ceremony to name the city. Charles Daley later wrote that ‘O’Malley’s egotism led him to anticipate the work of the Governor-General and Prime Minister Fisher ... by arranging, three weeks earlier, an impressive function ... at which he drove in the first peg of the city survey, on Capital Hill.’ On this occasion spectators gathered around on foot to watch O’Malley drive a peg in a spot previously determined by surveyors to mark the centre line running between Capital Hill and Mount Ainslie.

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