On 17 May 1919, His Excellency the State Governor, the Hon. Sir Arthur Stanley, officially proclaimed Williamstown a city.
One hundred years later, Hobsons Bay will celebrate that milestone with a program of events that coincide with the National Trust’s Australian Heritage Festival.
Arts, Culture and Tourism Portfolio Holder Councillor Angela Altair said Williamstown began as a municipal boundary in 1856, incorporating Newport and Spotswood, before becoming a town in 1886 and a city 34 years later. The Williamstown Town Hall was also officially opened at the time of the city declaration.
“It is hard to match the rich history of Williamstown, Melbourne’s first seaport. It is really interesting to see how it has evolved over the last 100 years,” said Cr Altair.
“From the lovingly restored historic Town Hall, to the Mechanics Institute and waterfront with its original buildings, Williamstown is such a unique gem and we are excited to celebrate it.
“As a Council, we are proud of our efforts to maintain, restore and preserve our heritage, including the Wilkinson Drinking Fountain on Nelson Place, the capstan on The Strand and the historic Bill’s horse troughs that are dotted throughout Williamstown.”
Arts, Culture and Tourism Portfolio Holder Councillor Gates said to celebrate the 100th year anniversary of the City of Williamstown, this year’s Heritage Hobsons Bay program offers a range of activities and events within the Williamstown area.
“Memories of Williamstown Town Hall is a wonderful and thoughtful exhibition where members of the community share their fondest memories of the historic Williamstown Town Hall,” said Cr Gates.
“There is also the opportunity to bring along a picnic to the heritage-listed Williamston Botanic Gardens during the popular Paint the Gardens exhibition and enjoy a free art workshop, musical entertainment and tours.
“We are also hosting free walking tours where you can join local historians and unlock the secrets of the historic waterfront or walk a mile in the shoes of famous author, Ada Cambridge, who resided in Williamstown during the early 1900s or join in on a night time projection tour and learn more about Williamstown’s past”.
Look out for the Heritage Hobsons Bay guide which is available for collection at the Hobsons Bay Visitor Information Centre, Hobsons Bay Libraries, the Hobsons Bay Civic Centre and the Williamstown Town Hall. To view the full program and book tickets, visit www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/heritagehobsonsbay