IMAGINE if Canberra had been called Federalia. Or Acacia, Harmony, Labourville, Cooksturta or Frontierland. What if it had been called Paradise? These are a few of the suggestions sent to the federal Department of Home Affairs in the lead-up to Canberra's official naming in 1913. An article published in The West Australian 100 years ago on Thursday ran what was reportedly the ''full list of suggestions'' of names from members of the public keen to have a say on the new national capital. According to the article, the names were sent from across the country, as well as from England and other countries, and ranged from the earnest Commonwealth Circular City or Regina; to the ridiculous Climax or Back Spur; to the downright sinister Aryan City. Interestingly, Canberra and Federalia, both early and late front-runners in the official decision, crop up in the list while Myola, an official favourite, does not. The official historian for the Canberra centenary, David Headon, said the process of choosing the name for Canberra was shrouded in secrecy, but it was certainly the case that the public took a big interest. ''Even looking at the file, there's no kind of way in which you can construct a narrative of how this came about,'' he said. ''Certainly we do know that [then prime minister Andrew] Fisher's favourite was Myola. I've come across nothing that says it was a certainty, but the problem with Myola was he was never a great admirer of [King] O'Malley, and [Myola] was a near-anagram of O'Malley, according to the goss.'' He said the department had been so inundated with suggestions, about 700 or 800 by the time the official ceremony began, they began logging them meticulously and assigning each contributor a number. All contemporary federal politicians were also given a say at the time, and Canberra was again a favourite, although the previous prime minister George Reid had favoured Pacifica. The final decision was made very close to the day in question, but the process was not guarded enough to prevent a good, old-fashioned media leak, with the Herald announcing Canberra as the capital's name on the morning of the official ceremony. Mr Headon said among the public's suggestions, there was a distinct category of people who were eccentrics, with suggestions like Wheatwoolgold and Sydmeladperbriso - a suggestion that caught the eye of the governor-general, who pronounced it in full with his plummy accent, in his official speech on March 12.