The history of Local Government in Mount Gambier dates from 1863.
The District Council of Mount Gambier met for the first time on 17 th June, 1863 where Dr Edward Wehl was elected Chairman.
In December 1864 the District Council of Mount Gambier became the District Council of Mount Gambier West (Town Council) and the District Council of Mount Gambier East was also formed.
In May 1876 a further division occurred resulting in the creation of the first Town Council with Mr John Watson as Mayor.
The three local governments operated up until 1932 when the District Council of Mount Gambier West and District Council of Mount Gambier East were merged and became the District Council of Mount Gambier.
On December 9 th , 1954 the proclamation declaring Mount Gambier a City received the assent of the Governor.
During 2004 the City celebrated its fifty years as a City with a range of events and activities culminating in a week of celebrations leading up to the anniversary date of 9 th December, 2004 which also included a visit by Her Excellency, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC, CVO, MBE, Governor of South Australia.
"Mount Gambier 50 and Loving It".
City of Mount Gambier - Flag
Following a local design competition the City of Mount Gambier Flag was officially dedicated on 1st January, 1986 at the New Years Sports Day as part of the Mount Gambier Program for the South Australian Jubilee 150 Celebrations.
The Flag design incorporates the City of Mount Gambier Coat of Arms (in a single colour) and uses the following symbolic colours which Council believes truly represent the colours of Mount Gambier:
GREEN: Mount Gambier receives bountiful rains and from its rich volcanic soils lush green pastures and extensive radiata pine forests are produced. The colour green typifies these wonderful features.
GOLD: From our land great wealth is derived and Mount Gambier is enriched by its culture, recreational activities, commerce and industry and the colour gold is symbolic of all of these.
BLUE: It was around the Blue Lake that Mount Gambier had its beginnings. The lake provides the City with a copious water supply and is renowned for its annual phenomenon of colour change which is featured in the design by the colour azure blue.
City of Mount Gambier - Logo
City of Mount Gambier - Coat of Arms
Arms : Per fess Or and Argent of a Fess Gules between in chief three Pine Trees proper and in a base a Crown Vallary Gules three Fountains all within a Bordure company Argent and Gules.
Crest: Issuant form a Mural Crown Or a Rod entwined by two Serpents between Flowers of Sturt's Desert Pea palewise proper.
Supporters: On either side an Eagle wings elevated and addorsed Erminois armed and legged Sable gorged with a crown vallary gules holding in the beak.
Motto: Cura et Industria ( By Care and Industry)
Fess - Formed by two horizontal lines across the shield taking up on third of the area.
Designed by: Horace K Hall of Melbourne, member of Heraldry Society, London.
Brief Description of the Coat of Arms
On the 3rd December 1800, Captain James Grant, RN, of H.M.S. "Lady Nelson" named Mount Gambier and later the City of Mount Gambier was named after the Gambier family of Buckinghamshire, their most distinguished member being James Gambier, son of James Gambier, Lieutenant Governor of the Bahamas.
The son entered the British Navy and served with distinction in the wars with France and in 1795 became a Rear Admiral. In 1802 he was appointed Governor of Newfoundland in recognition of his services at the siege of Copenhagen. In 1830 he was raised to he highest naval rank, that of Admiral of the Fleet.
The shield is contained within a border of alternate silver and red sections representing the limestone and red dolomite blocks quarried locally for building purposes.
A crown appears at the base of the shield, above which the three lakes are represented by the heraldic charge for water known as a fountain. The extensive pine plantations near the City are indicated in the upper section of the shield.
Surmounting the shield is the helmet with the visor closed and facing to the viewer's left; this is the helmet granted to non-titled individuals and corporate bodies.
The mantle, coloured blue and silver, covers the helmet.
In 1838, Dr William James Browne, son of a Wiltshire landowner, sailed for Australia and was principal founder of Christ Church, Mount Gambier, which has a memorial organ chamber and window to his memory. Dr John Harris Browne, brother of William, also came to Australia and was medical officer with Captain Charles Sturt and others in the exploration of 1844/45, which is remembered in the crest, composed of a mural crown, the emblem of Local Government and a caduceus, the symbol of the medical profession flanked by flowers of the Sturt Desert Pea, named after the explorer.
The gold eagles with black ermine spots are from the crest of Admiral Lord Gambier and are "differenced" heraldically by the organ pipes to remember the early pioneer, Dr William James Browne, referred to above.
Further Local Government Information
For further information on Local Government please refer to the Local Government Association of South Australia website click here, for resources for teachers and students click here, or to the Office of Local Government publication "How Councils Work - A Guide to the Rules" click here.
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