Today marks 103 years since the foundation stone was laid at Blanchetown, South Australia, marking the official beginning of the Locking system on the Murray River. Marking the centenary, the book encapsulating the stories of the ‘unknown’ men and women involved over two decades in SA’s share of construction of the locks and weirs, was also launched, Harnessing the River Murray: stories of the people who built Locks 1 to 9, 1915-1935. You can contact me via this page to order your copy. You can watch the short speech made at the centenary and book launch by the author Helen Stagg on this link. Click here.
On June 5 1915 at the historic stone-laying ceremony, the Commissioner of Public Works, Harry Jackson, said: ‘the occasion is the most memorable in the history of SA.’
Premier Crawford Vaughan said: ‘The Murray is SA’s greatest asset and we now rejoice in the hope it is to be fully developed… to usher in a new era of activity and enterprise.’
Attorney General Billy Hughes said on seeing the river for the first time that day, they were ‘at the beginning of a new chapter of Australian History, a chapter that was to introduce quite a new era.’