By telling the stories of our past we can honour those who came before us and paved the way. The stories of Eleanor Lucas, the ‘Lucas Girls’ and local soldiers who enlisted in World War 1 are stories to be remembered, honored and handed down. To make such an acknowledgement the Ballarat suburb of Lucas was named after the ‘Lucas Girls’ who played such a vital role in creating two of Ballarat’s most distinguished historical landmarks - The nationally renowned Avenue of Honour and the Arch of Victory, paying tribute to the 3,801 local men and nurses who enlisted in World War I.
The names and the stories of some of those soldiers have been memorialised by local land developer Integra in the Lucas Commemorative Naming Project in which every street in Lucas has been named after a soldier who gave his life in World War 1. One exception to this is Eleanor Drive the main thoroughfare named to honour Eleanor Lucas who founded E. Lucas & Co. in 1888. The business was home to 500 employees known as the ‘Lucas Girls’ who, under Managing Director Edward Price, substantially planned, paid for and planted the Avenue of Honour now the longest commemorative avenue in Australia. They went on to raise money to build an arch to serve as an entrance to the Avenue of Honour, the Arch of Victory, a landmark that has become one of the more recognised and iconic images of Ballarat.
During the Ballarat Heritage Festival the names and stories of the Lucas Girls and the Soldiers of the Avenue will be brought to life in an exhibition held in Coltman Plaza Lucas. The exhibition is a collaboration between Coltman Plaza Lucas, Integra and the Arch of Victory/Avenue of Honour Committee.
You can visit the exhibition at Coltman Plaza Lucas (6 Coltman Plaza) from the 7th to the 30th of May 2021.
Do you live in Lucas? Want to know the story of the Soldier your street is named in memory of? CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR MAP
Can't find your street? We will be updating over the coming weeks and months so send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know your streets story.