On December 1st, members were treated to a fascinating talk about the history of the Bristol Hill Tower by local historian and Councillor, Geoff Lovett. Geoff reported that he was delighted when he heard that our club was interested in seeing the tower area restored to its former glory, and he encouraged members to follow up their interest with a commitment to seeing the job through as an important Rotary project. See "Read more..."
Geoff explained that the Bristol Hill Tower was officially opened in 1933 as a commemoration to the pioneers of Maryborough. It was built as part of a nation-wide program to rejuvenate Australia after the 1929 Depression. When speaking of the "Tower", Geoff was quick to point out that he was referring to the whole area that surrounds the tower which includes the burial sites of around 400 pioneers, and a large memorial cross laid out on the ground by the tower workers as their own way of paying their respects to the creators of the Maryborough community. Over the years, the site has been restored several times after periods of disrepair and neglect, and Geoff hopes that Rotary's current interest in the area may see it restored once again. As Geoff reminded members, the Maryborough council is currently in the process of applying for a world heritage overlay of the area as part of the bigger application for a "Victorian Goldfields" overlay that includes Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Daylesford. If we can start to sell the tower area as a tourist attraction, that will improve the town's chances of attracting development funds. President Garry thanked Geoff for his insights and presented him with one of the club's "4 Way Test Plaques" (pictured) whilst explaining that members of our club see potential in the area for a multi-ethnic "Peace Park". It will certainly be fascinating to see how the project evolves.