This trowel was presented to City of Bendigo Mayor, Simeon Ryan by Mr B. Deakin the Australian representative of the Victorian Electric Supply Company on the occasion of the laying of the foundation stone for the new power house building in Hargreaves Street, Bendigo. This power house was built to supply power to both Bendigo and Eaglehawk and the overhead power system for the tramway which ran from Quarry Hill, through the city to Eaglehawk and from Golden Square to Lake Weeroona. The building of the power house changed Eaglehawk and Bendigo as street lights were installed and houses became electrified. A report in the Bendigo Independent in 1902 reported ' Night will then be almost as brilliant as the day and people .... who live in the suburbs are to be provided with a tram service worth of the name'. (See reference A Mammoth Scheme.) The tramways closed in April 1972 after the Victorian Parliament granted the SEC an application to cease operating.
Today Bendigo Trust operates the tourist trams which run along Pall Mall and welcomes over 40,000 visitors annually. The Bendigo Tramways Depot is the oldest operating tram depot in Australia and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. There are currently 45 trams in the fleet (13 of which operate as part of the 'Talking' Tram service).For more about the history and to tour the tramways visit www.bendigotramways.com.
Triangular shaped silver engraved trowel with ivory handle (0286a). Top face of trowel is ornately engraved with floral and decorative motifs and an image of an electric tram and two power poles. Reverse has engraved text. No makers mark detected. Housed in a leather covered case (0286b), lined with ruched blue silk. Case has two brass hinges and two small brass clasps.
PRESENTED / By / THE ELECTRIC SUPPLY CO / OF VICTORIA TO / SIMEON RYAN. ESQ JP. / MAYOR OF BENDIGO / ON THE OCCASION OF HIS LAYING / THE MEMORIAL STONE OF THE / BENDIGO AND EAGLEHAWK / ELECTRIC LIGHT AND TRAMWAY / POWER HOUSE / 26th JUNE, 1901/ STERLING SILVER
councillor simeon ryan, councillor s h mc gowan, councillor john hoskins, councillor george loudon, councillor john green, councillor alfred hicks, borough of eaglehawk, borough of eaglehawk mayor, mayor loudon, city of bendigo mayor, mayor ryan, bendigo and eaglehawk tramway