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Place Names Register Extract

Fannie Bay

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Name Fannie Bay
Type Designation Suburb
Place Id 2035
Place Type Administrative Area
Status Registered
Date Registered 10 January 2001
Location (Datum GDA94)  
Latitude: -12° 25' S (Decimal degrees -12.427)
Longitude: 130° 50' E (Decimal degrees 130.8402)
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Locality / Suburb  
  (None Found)
Local Government Area  
  Darwin City Council
History/Origin The Suburb of Fannie Bay takes its name from the adjacent Fannie Bay which is believed to have been named by the surveyors of Goyder's expedition who surveyed the present day Darwin in 1868, after Fanny Carandini, a popular opera singer of the time.

Fanny Carandini was the daughter of an exiled Italian Count, Count Gerome Carandini, tenth Marquise of Saranzo, who came to Hobart, Tasmania, in the 1840s and married Mary Burgess who became a noted opera signer. Madame Carandini and her daughters Fanny, Rosina and Lizzie formed a famed singing group, travelling widely in Australia and overseas.

In 1868 the Carandinis held concerts in Adelaide a month before the South Australian Surveyor-General, George Goyder, and his party set out in the 'Moonta' to found Palmerston (the present day Darwin). One of the concerts was a benefit night for 'Fannie' Carandini and some of Goyder's surveyors would almost certainly have been there.

The reason for the difference in the name 'Fannie' or Fanny' is unclear. In his book "Australasia and the Oceanic Region" published in 1876, William Brackley Wildey wrote of the Palmerston of 1874 - "PALMERSTON is laid out in 1019 half-acre allotments, and extends nearly three miles across to Fanny Bay, so named by the surveyors after Miss Fanny Carandini - this is prettily and healthily situated, facing the ocean, about four miles from town, a little beyond the town boundary....."

However, Hoare, one of Goyder's party on the expedition to Palmerston, wrote in his diary "March 1 (1869): Public Holiday. I went with Capt. Barneson & Dr Peel to Talc Point. Got some specimens of shells, talc and coral. I made a sketch of Fannie Bay, Point Emery....."

Also, on the early maps of Darwin the spelling 'Fannie' was used.

One explanation for the confusion could be that the Carandinis changed the spelling of their names for promotional purposes. Although Fanny Carandini's death certificate reads 'Fanny', in newspaper reports and advertisements in her singing days the spelling 'Fannie' is used. Her mother appears to have done the same, changing her name from 'Mary' to 'Marie'. Goyder's surveyors would possibly have taken the version 'Fannie' name from a program or a poster advertising the Carandinis' concerts in Adelaide.

Register & Gazettal information

Date Gazettal Comment
04/04/1984 NTG13
10/01/2001 NTG1 Revocation of 4/04/1984 gazettal and renaming of suburb due to changes to boundaries from originally gazetted
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