Warrnambool City Council preparing to celebrate city's milestone of 100 years

BACK IN THE DAY: Warrnambool City councillors of the day in 1918. Mayor William Swinton is in the centre of the front row.
BACK IN THE DAY: Warrnambool City councillors of the day in 1918. Mayor William Swinton is in the centre of the front row.

TODAY 100 years ago Warrnambool became a city.

The council is celebrating with two events, and is asking residents for their input into what they think should go into a time capsule to mark the milestone.

Warrnambool was officially gazetted as a city on April 5, 1918.

In May that year then Governor, Sir Arthur Stanley, travelled to Warrnambool where, from the steps of the Town Hall, he made the proclamation.

Warrnambool mayor Robert Anderson said a local engineering company would build a time capsule.

Items that “tell the story of the city” will be placed into it. 

“We’re asking the community for ideas on the items we should place in the time capsule,” he said. 

“We’ll shortlist the suggestions then have a vote on what goes in.

“Bear in mind that the time capsule will be buried for many years – that means nibble pies are out.”

Tonight a civic reception will be held at the Lighouse Theatre, with past and present councillors attending.

The community will also ahve their chance to celebrate what’s great about Warrnambool next month. 

A public celebration of the centenary will be held at Flagstaff Hill on Sunday, May 27.

“Flagstaff Hill will be open to the public for free from 11am to 3pm that day,” Cr Anderson said.

“We’ll have a free barbecue, musical entertainment, volunteers in the fashions of 1918, a cannon firing and games from the era.”

The occasion 100 years ago was recorded in By These We Flourish by CE Sayers and PL Yule:

“In May 1918 Warrnambool became only the fourth non-metropolitan town in Victoria to achieve the status of a city,” it says.

“Warrnambool’s steady progress since becoming a town in 1883, combined with the economic impetus and inflation of the war, had increased the rate revenue to a level entitling it to become a city.” 

Visit www.yoursaywarrnambool.com.au to make a suggestion for the time capsule.