Home' My Ballarat : My Ballarat March 2011 Contents City of Ballarat Community Magazine April 2011
A nod to the past
for new suburb
Ballarat's newest suburb, part of the Ballarat West Growth Area, has been
named Lucas, commemorating the well-loved 'Lucas Girls' who planted
Ballarat's famous Avenue of Honour.
The 22 kilometre Avenue, believed to be the first and longest of its kind in
Australia, was planted by the female employees of local textile company
E Lucas & Co, in honour of those who served during the First World War.
Planting began in 1917 and continued until 1919.
Part of the Avenue of Honour forms the northern border of the new suburb,
which will stretch from Ballarat-Carngham Road in the south, to Dyson Drive
in the east and the Ballarat-Skipton Rail Trail to the west.
The first stages of the new suburb of Lucas - 325ha being planned as part
of Ballarat West - will house around 4,000 new homes on what has been
primarily farming land. Where possible new streets in the suburb will be
named after the individuals for whom trees were planted along the Avenue,
with priority given to those who lost their lives during the War.
Councillor Judy Verlin said it was Council's way of saying thank you and
acknowledging a wonderful piece of Ballarat's history.
"It's appropriate that one of Ballarat's newest suburbs will give a nod to
the city's proud and community-spirited past," she said.
E Lucas & Co was founded by Mrs Eleanor Lucas who, along with her
daughters, started a small sewing business in their home in 1888. The
business grew until it eventually employed around 500 people, manufacturing
women's fashion, children's wear, baby wear and underwear.
The 'Lucas girls' were well known around town for their dedication and
philanthropic spirit, often raising money and undertaking charitable works. In
May 1917 Mrs Tillie Thompson, a director with the company, proposed that
trees be planted in honour of the men and women who enlisted for service
during World War One. The employees of the company were enthusiastic and
about 500 of them (known as the Lucas Girls) planted an avenue along the
Ballarat Burrumbeet Road, now known as Remembrance Drive.
The first 1000 trees were planted on 3 June 1917 and the final trees on
16 August 1919. While the Lucas Girls did the actual planting, practical
advice and assistance was provided by local gardeners, farmers, Council
staff, family and friends.
The 22 kilometre Ballarat Avenue of Honour, is recognised as a significant
cultural landscape and has been classified by Heritage Victoria, National
Trust of Australia (Victoria) and the Australian Heritage Commission.
For further information on the new suburb of Lucas contact Council's Strategic
Planning unit on 5320 5651 or visit www.ballarat.vic.gov.au
For further information on Council's naming proposals contact
Council's Place Names and Technical Officer on 5320 5763 or email
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