Men who shaped our town


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.”

Doug Lyall, Tom Rowe and David Elvery.

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