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Municipality of Strathfieldsaye, Victoria

Strathfieldsaye Shire Council was located 8km south-east of Bendigo. Its name recalled the Duke of Wellington's Hampshire estate; it was also the name of a migrant ship in 1839 and of William Raymond's station in 1842.

Strathfieldsaye became a district in 1861 and a shire in 1866. The shire hall from the nineteenth century still exists.

Queen Victoria's 50th jubilee in 1887 was celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the British Empire. The Shire of Strathfieldsaye was one of many shires to issue medals. Interestingly, the medal held in Museum Victoria's collection (NU 20188) is inscribed 'Strathfieldsage'. The medal names C.W. Read as Shire President. The President's name was actually Charles Henry Read, who served as President from 1887 to 1888. These mistakes suggest that the Museum's copy is a reject. In the year the medal was issued, Strathfieldsaye had a population of 4,040 and an area of 229 square miles. Its main centres were Axedale, Kangaroo Flat and Strathfieldsaye. Leading industries were mining, farming, wine-growing and tanning.

In 1906 Strathfieldsaye Shire Council's Cr T. Somerville decided to enter a competition run by one of the world's largest fruit dealing firms. It offered a prize of 20 pounds for the best apples, with entries to be sent to Germany for exhibition. Somerville decided to send 40 cases of apples. He won the world's championship for the finest apples.

In 1944 Margaret Brennan was appointed secretary of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, succeeding her father. She was the third successive member of the family to hold this position.

Tensions rose in the shire offices in the early 1990s, and an inquiry in 1993 identified a 'serious breakdown in the relationships between Councillors'.

On 7 April 1994 the Shire of Strathfieldsaye, City of Bendigo, Shires of Huntly, the Borough of Eaglehawk, parts of the Rural City of Marong, the Shires of McIvor and Metcalf united to form the Greater Bendigo City Council.

References:
Blake, L. (1977). Place Names of Victoria
University of Melbourne library Index to Victorian Parliamentary Papers October 1992 to December 1995
http://buffy.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/vicindex.pdf; '150 Years of Blessing in Bendigo'
http://www.praybendigo.org.au/150years.pdf; Victorian Municipal Directories, 1887.

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