Ballarat's main thoroughfare, Sturt Street, is recognised as one of the grandest boulevards in Australia. Cutting east-west through the city, it features more than two kilometres of central gardens, bandstands and memorials.
Sturt Street leads to the Arch of Victory and Avenue of Honour, and connects Lucas directly to the Ballarat CBD and beyond.
HONOURING THE FALLEN
The Avenue of Honour was conceptualised, planned and planted by Eleanor Lucas (right) and the 'Lucas Girls'. Mrs Lucas started her textiles company with her daughters and 20 employees in 1888. What started as a home-based business grew to employ 500 women by 1917.
The 'Lucas Girls' came to encapsulate all that the community spirit of Ballarat stands for - working together through difficult times, honouring those who have contributed to a greater cause, and finally, a get up and go attitude.
Between 1917 and 1919, the 'Lucas Girls' raised money to buy and plant almost 4,000 trees to honour all the local men who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces during the First World War. The Girls' commitment to raise money during tough times and plant thousands of trees on weekends showed a strength and determination that is admirable.
Ballarat's Avenue of Honour stretches for 22 kilometres and set a standard that has not been surpassed.
BEHIND THE STREET NAMES
As a further mark of recognition to the sacrifices Australian War veterans have made for our region, all streets in Lucas are named in tribute to soldiers who are memorialised in the Avenue of Honour. This concept has since been developed into the state-wide ANZAC Commemorative
Naming Project. Below are some stories from the memorialised soldiers:
THE ARCH OF VICTORY
The 'Lucas Girls' were also instrumental in the construction of the Arch of Victory. The Girls raised a large sum of money to pay for the construction of the Arch, and were honoured to attend the official opening in June 1920 by the Prince of Wales.
The name of Lucas is another example of how we are drawing on the best Ballarat has to offer - true community spirit and values.