Of course, all discerning people forced to move away from the paradise of Canberra shed bitter tears over that heartbreaking tragedy. One hundred years ago this week, Frederick Campbell (1846-1928), the squire of Yarralumla, was overwhelmed with emotion as he said goodbye.
He never lived to hear the 21st-century sensation the Pussycat Dolls but if he had then as an old man he might have nodded in agreement at the now famous sentiment in their hit When I Grow Up.
''Be careful what you wish for, 'cause you just might get it.
''You just might get it. You just might get it.''
Back to Frederick Campbell and the Pussycat Dolls (doesn't that sound like the name of a band?) and to what Campbell wished for, in just a moment.
But first we turn again to the subject of haystacks. Fanatically loyal readers will have been following our occasional series of mentions of Canberra in the olden days when, before the lake swarmed over the meadows, those meadows were sometimes decorated with haystacks and with stooks.
Everyone with some poetry in their soul loves a good haystack. Of course, their most famous fan is the painter Monet, who, noticing the rustic loveliness of them, painted them again and again and from every angle and in every light. Just Google ''Monet's haystacks'' to see a gallery of his inspired haystackery.
And here to accompany this columnist's sepia-tinted prose is a sepia-tinted picture of a big, grand Canberra haystack of circa 1904. Another is being built beside it. The scene is somewhere at idyllic Yarralumla on the estate of the aforementioned Frederick Campbell. Look closely and you'll see that two agile urchins are posed on top of the haystack, having climbed the ladder leant against it.
But back to Campbell and to the fact that 100 years ago this week he bade an emotional farewell to Queanbeyan/Canberra, as it turned out, forever. It was a farewell so emotional that he seems even to have shed a public tear.
That happened in a speech he gave at a special farewell dinner given in his honour in Queanbeyan in October, 1913, by which time he was living in a leased manor at Goulburn.
He was leaving the district he was so identified with (he'd been born at Duntroon in 1846 and from 1882 to 1913 had been the squire at Yarralumla) because the Commonwealth was systematically resuming all of the estates, great and small, that the federal capital city was going to be built on. Campbell and his family had to go.
House (seen here as Campbell knew it in 1901) and estate had been transferred to the Commonwealth on April 28, 1913.
The man from the Queanbeyan Age was there at the dinner and reported Campbell's reminiscence-packed and emotional speech:
''Leaving his old home at Yarralumla had been a terrible wrench, for he had never expected to have to part from it. [Here the speaker became visibly affected.] Had he seen what was coming he would have endeavoured to induce the Commonwealth government to fix their choice on Dalgety [a rival site] or, for the matter of that, Mount Kosciuszko [laughter] rather than Canberra.
''They did not know how deeply he felt at being expelled from Yarralumla. The country around Canberra was undoubtedly one of the beauty spots of Australia …''
But the sad irony was (and here we get back to the wisdom of the Pussycat Dolls) that Campbell had been an early, influential pusher of the case for Canberra to get the guernsey as the federal capital site. Early in the Battle of the Sites (as dozens of places jostled to impress those who had do the choosing) Campbell had been, with Queanbeyan's John Gale and others, a battler for the Canberra site beside the Molonglo.
On June 11, 1900, when NSW Commissioner Alexander Oliver (roving NSW to see for himself 23 sites) came to Queanbeyan to listen to the locals singing the Canberra site's praises, Campbell was one of those who led the singing. He said a capital built at the Canberra site - even a metropolis of 40,000 souls - would be able to amply feed itself from its own wondrously fertile and bountiful region. Local grasses were ''remarkably fattening for sheep and cattle'' and he'd known yields of 60 bushels of wheat to the acre. The site was a Garden of Eden.
But by 1913, as we've just seen, Campbell was heartbroken that what he had wanted in 1900 had come to pass. He wished, now, the capital was going to be built on top of Mount Kosciuszko, anywhere other than Canberra.
It is not clear at what point Campbell's change of heart set in, or where it came from, but, of course, 13 years is ample time in which to discover fonder feelings for a place (in his case his idyllic, haystack-decorated Yarralumla) than one had realised were lurking in one's heart.