A historic photograph of one of the early members of the Shire of Stawell’s history has returned to its rightful home at the Pleasant Creek Historic Precinct.
The photograph of Thomas Hutchings has been lovingly restored by cousins David and Tim Hutchings, descendants of the former public figure.
Thomas Hutchings was a former Shire of Stawell Councillor from 1881 to 1896 and was Shire President from 1886 to 1887.
When recently researching their great grandfather Thomas’ history with the former council, David and Tim found the badly damaged photo in storage and offered to repair the photo and its frame. The newly restored photo will be hung in the council chambers now it has returned home.
In a fitting tribute to Thomas Hutchings, it was he and Isaac Delbridge who were contracted to build the original shire chambers at the precinct in 1866.
David Hutchings said he is thrilled to have his great grandfather’s portrait hung in the council chambers that he helped to build.
“It’s a tremendous thing to see him brought back to life in a way, the photo had gone a bit derelict and now has been restored and we are very happy to see that,” he said.
“My great grandfather came out from England to look for gold, as everyone did. He moved from Castlemaine to Stawell when gold was discovered here.
“He had a carting and contracting business so it is reported he did a lot of work for the council building roads, bridges, and this building.
“He also carted quartz for crushing and timber pit props for the mining company.
“The Stawell Historical Society Inc. and the Northern Grampians Shire Council have been a wonderful help during all this research and I urge everyone to support their local historical society.”
Northern Grampians Shire Councillor Kevin Erwin said it’s great to have a piece of the shire’s history restored.
“Thomas will make a great addition to the Council chambers, it’s great to have him back and looking his best.”