Men who shaped our town

February 07, 2018

THREE men who played huge roles in shaping Heathcote as it is today recently met and shared memories of the 1960 Eppalock project days.

Former shire engineers Doug Lyall and Tom Rowe met with former SCA regional ‘SoilCon’ David Elvery – who was heavily involved with the oversight of the Eppalock Catchment Soil and Water Conservation Project.

Doug was born in Kerang and later studied via correspondence with the then Melbourne Technical College, now the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). Upon gaining a certificate of municipal engineering, Doug joined the Shire of McIvor at Heathcote as shire engineer and building surveyor.

In this role he designed and maintained roads, bridges and building developments in the Heathcote area.

Tom was raised in Golden Square and gained a scholarship to the Bendigo School of Mines for civil engineering. After working for six years in Rochester after completing his diploma, Tom moved on to the McIvor Shire as a municipal engineer and building surveyor.

It was there that Tom continued maintenance and improvements to the shire roads, streets, bridges and Heathcote’s town drainage.

The three men combined in many important projects through the years, including construction of culverts and erosion control structures, and diversion of road runoff on new roads in the area.

In the early 1960s Mr Lyall and Mr Elvery developed means of preventing serious table-drain erosion along Eppalock access roads.

“We specially designed and constructed grassed and concrete reinforced waterways inside cooperative landholders adjoining fences to pick up catchment runoff water and disposal into culverts and streams.”

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