On this day
AFTER 20 years of planning, eight years of construction, 95,000cu.m of concrete, 17,000cu.m of granite and 52,800t of steelwork, Sydney Harbour Bridge was ready. But before premier Jack Lang arrived to cut the ribbon, monarchist Captain Francis de Groot (right) rode forward on a horse. He believed the bridge should be opened by a member of the royal family, or at the least the governor-general, the King’s representative. Slashing the ribbon with his sword, he declared the bridge open in the name of “the decent and respectable people of
New South Wales”. He was charged with offensive behaviour and fined £5 ($424). The ribbon was retied and given the official cut a short while later by Lang.