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100 year celebration

You're invited to Warrnambool's 100th birthday party

News Article Date: 
Friday, 11 May 2018

On May 23, 1918 the Governor of Victoria, Sir Arthur Stanley, stood on a platform at the corner of Liebig and Timor streets and declared Warrnambool a city.

Warrnambool was just the fourth non-metropolitan town in Victoria to achieve city status and the community marked the occasion with a “back to” event, urging past residents to come home to join in the celebrations.

The Standard reported on May 24, 1918, that the occasion was “celebrated with wholehearted enthusiasm and unanimity seldom experienced in connection with such festivities.”

This year, to mark the centenary anniversary of Warrnambool as a city the community is invited to a celebration at Flagstaff Hill.

The centenary celebration will be held on Sunday, May 27 from 11am to 3pm.

Admission is free and people can enjoy a barbecue, music from Warrnambool Pipes and Drums and the Warrnambool Brass Band, children’s activities including face painting, bus tours of historic sites in Warrnambool and more.

Back in 1918 Warrnambool decorated its streets lavishly in anticipation of the governor’s visit.

The Standard noted that “not only did the business men contribute liberally towards the general decorative scheme of their street, but they adorned their individual premises on an elaborate and effective scale which added considerably to the general ensemble.”

At the public announcement the Mayor Cr William Swinton noted the steady growth of the city and the thriving Nestle factory and woollen mill before the Citizens’ Band played a verse of Rule Britannia.

The Town Clerk, H.E. Lawson, then read the formal proclamation as published in the Government Gazette after which the band played a verse of the French national anthem, The Marseillaise.

Governor Stanley rose to remark that the people had reached the “municipal dignity of city”. Cr Swinton presented the governor with a “handsome gold badge bearing the new seal of the city of Warrnambool” which the Governor said “would be treasured by him and his descendants amongst the archives of his family”.

The citizens band finished with Australia Will Be There - one of the songs that Australian troops marched to on their way to fight in battle - and the national anthem before the Governor headed off for a tour of the Nestle factory.

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