BALLARAT’S mayoral chains are being retired from public life and will go on permanent display at the Ballarat Gold Museum.
The move is designed to protect the existing fragile and priceless historic chains that date from the 1850s gold rush.
The City of Ballarat is in the process of commissioning new mayoral chains to be used on civic occasions.
The chains consist of the combined mayoral chains of the former City of Ballaarat and the Town of Ballaarat East; and reflect the history of those municipalities during a quite specific era.
The chains are not considered to adequately and appropriately reflect the modern post-amalgamation (1994) City of Ballarat which is made up of parts of the old City of Ballaarat, the Shire of Ballarat, the Shire of Buninyong, the Borough of Sebastopol and the Shire of Bungaree.
The decision to create new chains and ‘retire’ the older chains is driven by a dual concern to preserve the integrity of the old chains and to create a symbol of civic authority more relevant to, and reflective of, the modern City of Ballarat.
The new mayoral chains will be designed, and then created by an expert craftsman who will be commissioned to create a set of chains which appropriately represent the City of Ballarat in the 21st Century.
Ballarat Mayor, Cr Samantha McIntosh had the distinction of being the last Mayor of Ballarat to wear the city’s priceless and historic mayoral chains when she was installed for a second term (Monday 30 October 2017).
The existing Ballarat Mayoral Chain is made of 34 ounces of old Ballarat gold and is conservatively estimated to be worth more than a million dollars; it is made up of a series of gold medallions, one added each year since 1856.
The Chain is one of the most magnificent Mayoral Chains in Victoria and is made of Ballarat gold.
It is anticipated that the new City of Ballarat mayoral chain will be complete before the end of the current mayoral term.
Initial design work is underway; the brief is to create a chain which has an ‘echo’ of the old chains a sense of the historical tradition – but with a more modern feel.
The chains are likely to be made from a base metal and plated with gold, with costs kept in line with community expectations.