Ceremonial Trowel, 19th Century
Atkin Brothers, Sheffield, England
nickel plated, ivory
35mm x 24mm x 55mm
This silver nickel ceremonial trowel is highly decorated with engraved flowers and leaves and a carved ivory handle. It is inscribed on the front:
With this Trowel Nina Fane de Salis laid the chief corner stone of the Temperance Hall Queanbeyan 23 August 1877
Nina Fane de Salis was to become the wife of William Farrer and lived her married life on the Murrumbidgee River at Lambrigg Station. Queanbeyan’s first Temperance Society was founded in 1862 – initiated by leading citizens and became known as the Total Abstinence Society. This Society was replaced in 1871 by the Sons and Daughters of Temperance founded by Robert Sindel. These societies were some of the first formal organizations to include women in their ranks – leading to the formation of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union that was highly influential in movements for gaining women the vote.
The Queanbeyan Temperance Hall was built in Monaro St in 1878 – this was a substantial building with seating capacity of 500 – the building still exists – and is now Ray White Real Estate – the importance of the Temperance Movement in the town was such that school children were given a half day holiday in order to attend the opening. Many important townspeople attended or presided at the opening such as John Gale and George de Salis.
- The gavel that was used with the trowel in laying the foundation stone ceremony for the Temperance Hall. Photograph above.
- Some ceiling trim and cornice from the Hall
- Small sections of stage trim from the Hall
- Detailed description of the Hall and its décor as it was built
- A photographic record of the interior of the Hall being converted to commercial space
All photographs Copyright QDHMS Inc.