Gordon


Gordon
I.
/ˈgɔdn/ (say 'gawdn)

noun
1. Adam Lindsay, 1833–70, Australian poet and horseman, born in the Azores; author of the verse collection Bush Ballads and Galloping Rhymes (1870).
2. Charles George (`Chinese Gordon'), 1833–85, British general and administrator in China and the Middle East; governor of the Sudan, 1877–80; killed while under siege in Khartoum in 1885 during resistance to indigenous rebellion.
3. Doris, NZ medical practitioner and lecturer, noted for her work in obstetrics.
4. Hayes, 1920–99, Australian actor, producer and director, born in the US.
Adam Lindsay Gordon, the son of an ex-army officer, was born in the Azores and educated in England. He arrived in Adelaide in 1853, where he worked first as a trooper in the mounted police before turning to horse-breaking and steeplechase riding. He is as well known for his adventurous life and eventual suicide (he shot himself on Brighton Beach when depressed about his inability to pay the printing bill for his book) as for his poetry, which was so popular in the early 20th century that he became the sole Australian poet to have a memorial in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. Today he is recognised principally for `The Sick Stockrider', a ballad which influenced the bush ballads of the 1890s.
II.
/ˈgɔdn/ (say 'gawdn)

noun
1. a river in western Tasmania, rising south-west of Lake King William and flowing westerly to Macquarie Harbour; dammed in early 1970s to form the Gordon and Pedder reservoirs as part of the Gordon hydro-electric power scheme. About 200 km.
2. Lake, a lake in western Tasmania created by the damming of the upper reaches of the Gordon River. 272 km2.
The Gordon River was explored by Captain James Kelly in 1816 and named after James Gordon, who had lent him a whaleboat to circumnavigate Tasmania. Belts of forest on the river sides were preserved in 1939 and Lake Pedder was the main feature of a scenic reserve proclaimed in 1955. In the early 1970s the lake was flooded as part of the Gordon River hydro-electric scheme, despite bitter controversy and prolonged protests. Dams creating Lake Gordon and the enlarged Lake Pedder were completed by 1974, the latter diverting the headwaters of the Huon River into the Gordon system; together they form the largest water-storage scheme in Australia. Lake Gordon has a total volume of 11.9 cubic kilometres. The second stage, involving a dam on the lower Gordon River, was approved by the Tasmanian government in 1982, but in 1983 intervention by the Hawke federal government halted the scheme. Much of the surrounding wilderness is protected in Southwest National Park, proclaimed in 1968 and extended in 1976; it became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and was further extended and added to the World Heritage List in 1982, now forming part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. Wild Rivers National Park was proclaimed in 1980.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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