SHOALHAVEN mayor Joanna Gash this morning invited the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to visit her city on the basis that: “’Without us you may never have met”.
The Royal couple will visit Australia in April and the mayor says the Shoalhaven has strong links with the Royal couple.
Alexander Berry, who along with Edward Wollstonecraft established the first European settlement on the NSW south coast in the early 1820s, attended St Andrews University in Fife, Scotland, before migrating to Australia. He died in 1873.
On the death of his beneficiary, brother David, in 1889, 100,000 pounds (approximately $16 million in today’s currency) were bequeathed at the request of Alexander to St Andrews as recognition of his indebtedness to the university. Reports at the time indicate that the money helped save the university from financial ruin.
And it was at St Andrews that the student prince met his future wife Kate Middleton in 2005.
Mayor Gash said that had it not been for the donation provided by Alexander Berry it was likely that the Royal couple would not have met.
“Shoalhaven City is extremely proud to be extending this very special invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge,” she said.
“Although he could not have known it at the time, Alexander Berry’s extremely generous donation to St Andrews University has helped make one of the most famous relationships in the world possible.
“It is extremely remarkable to consider that some of the most everlasting images of the past decade, including the Royal wedding and the birth of Prince George, may not have been possible without the Shoalhaven.”
Mayor Gash said that council had compiled a four-day itinerary for the Royal Couple as part of the invitation, inclusive of a visit to Coolangatta Mountain, the final resting place of David Berry.
She said the council would hand deliver a specially prepared invitation to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra later this week.