Historical information

This certificate was sent to those who had been present at one of the celebrations in connection with the Federation of the six States of Australia in 1901 – The Royal Review at Flemington Racecourse on 10th May 1901. The invitation to attend the event was issued by the Government of Victoria. The certificate was intended to be kept as a souvenir of the event and framed. This particular certificate was issued to George Rolfe and his wife of Warrnambool. George Rolfe (1836-1919), a tea merchant from Melbourne, began buying blocks of land near the mouth of the Hopkins River in Warrnambool in the 1870s. By the early 1880s he had acquired 50 acres of land in the town and several farming properties. He used the buildings on the land near the mouth of the Hopkins River as holiday accommodation and called the property, Lyndoch. He improved the property by adding stables, chaff and bone sheds, jetty, boathouse, reservoir, water well and windmill and extensive gardens and he spent most of his later life in the Warrnambool area. Lyndoch today is the site of an aged care facility.


This certificate is of considerable importance for two reasons:
1. It is an important memento of a signal event on Australia’s history – the Federation of the six States in 1901 and the subsequent celebrations.
2. The certificate was issued to a prominent Warrnambool person, George Rolfe and his wife.

Physical description

This is multi-coloured sheet of paper mounted on card. There are four black and white photographs of the Royal Review at Flemington and photographs of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. The images include the Royal Crest, the shields of the six Australian States, a shield of Victoria with a background of flags, cannon and ammunition, two mounted soldiers with a soldier and sailor standing nearby and swords and bayonets. There is also much colour decoration around the edges of the certificate. The names of Mr and Mrs Rolfe are handwritten in black ink.

Inscriptions & markings

‘Australian Commonwealth Celebrations’
‘The Government of Victoria requests the honour of the presence of Mr & Mrs G. Rolfe at the Royal Review at Flemington on Friday the 10th of May 1901’