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Illumination on glass of Councillor D.C. Sterry in council robes


Illumination on glass of Councillor D.C. Sterry in council robes

Object information


Sterry was elected to the Bendigo City Council in 1876 and remained on the council until 1888, taking the Mayoral Chair in 1878-79. In this portrait, taken by Messrs. Bartlett Bros and reproduced within the album containing the illuminated address (IR 6401.0005), Sterry is pictured in his Mayoral robes. The below contemporary newspaper article recounts Sterry's election as Mayor and his investment with the robes of his office.

A special meeting of the city council was held this morning at 10 o'clock for the purpose of electing a mayor for the ensuing municipal year. In accordance with an understanding previously arrived at, the honourable office was conferred upon Councillor Sterry, who was duly invested with the mayoral robes. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the health of the new mayor was drunk by the members of the council and a large number of Mr. Sterry's friends in bumpers. Before vacating the chair, the retiring mayor (Councillor Bayne) reviewed the financial position of the city, which he showed to be in a most flourishing state, despite the dulness that had for many months prevailed with respect to the mining industry. The finances were in a more satisfactory state than they had perhaps ever been before, and he thought that there was fair ground to hope for a prosperous future." - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848 - 1957), Monday 5 August 1878, page 7.

Physical description

A photograph on clear glass of a portrait of Councillor D.C. Sterry in mayoral robes. He is leaning one arm on a piece of furniture and holds a rolled document in his hands. The image has been hand-tinted. At the back of the photograph is a detached piece of white coloured glass.

Statement of significance

The David Chaplin Sterry collection comprises an assortment of commemorative objects previously belonging to Sterry, including an illuminated address (1888); his Postmaster-General's Department travel pass; tickets to the 1901 Commonwealth of Australia Parliament opening; a gold locket presented to Mrs Sterry (1879); a portrait of Sterry; a 1927 Parliament House florin; exhibition catalogues from the1880 Melbourne International Exhibition and the 1888-9 Centennial Interational Exhibition, and the Official Record from the former. The collection also includes 8 gold, silver and bronze medals struck in commemoration of significant national events (1898 Australian Federation Convention and the Duke of Edinburgh's 1867 visit to Australia) and seminal international exhibitions.

English sailor Sterry (1812-1904) arrived in Victoria in 1854 and made his way to the gold rush town of Sandhurst (Bendigo). He worked the alluvial diggings, but soon turned to quartz reef mining and formed syndicates to exploit the gold veins of Victoria Reef. He also became a large shareholder in the Catherine Reef Mine, local director of Bendigo Goldfields Company, founded the Miners' Accident Association and helped resolve miners' strikes. Sterry was also a prominent political figure, serving on Sandhurst City Council for 12 years (two as Mayor); on the Marong Shire Council as councillor (1876-1903) and President (four terms); as Member for Northern Province in the Legislative Council (1882-1889) and as representative for Sandhurst South in the Legislative Assembly (1889-1904).

Object information

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