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Building Lake Burley Griffin

By johnboy - 12 July 2011 25

Rhyse has pointed us at a truly remarkable video from Film Australia on the construction of Lake Burley Griffin circa 1964.

A really amazing blast from the past for the local history buffs.

lake burley griffin circa 1964

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Building Lake Burley Griffin
John Moulis 5:55 pm 12 Jul 11

I’m a bit upset the Lake was built. We moved here in 1970 and I was too young to have been able to see Our Fair City pre-LBG. The pictures and newsreels I have seen show a spacious and scenic area, and the thought of sheep grazing in the centre of town fits in with the bush capital stories we are all familiar with.

I know LBG is picturesque and home to sailing, rowing and tourist cruises, but I wish I could enter a time warp and see first hand what things were like before the Lake.

Gungahlin Al 5:38 pm 12 Jul 11

Great piece. That could have been me in one of those sailing dingeys. Except that wasn’t until about 5 years later… Swimming and yabbie catching at Yarralumla was a great past-time – would you swim there now?

Might be a good place to ask something about a childhood memory I’ve been trying to figure out for some time. Mum passed away last year and Dad has Alzheimers so no help there. When we lived up near Red Hill back then, there was a big bronze sculpture out the front of one of the big houses probably along Mugga Way, but not sure. We used to call it the big bindi-eye because that’s what it looked like. It was just inside a white masonary and wrought-iron boundary fence. Does anyone recall that piece and where it was/still is?

p1 5:16 pm 12 Jul 11

Me no fry said :

The lake might get built but the bridges would only be one lane in each direction…

By that I assume you mean one lane bridge at Kings Avenue, and a one lane bridge at C’wealth Ave…

troll-sniffer said :

Sources tell me that the lake is not as altruistic as you might think… the area occupied by the lake could not have been built on as it was a flood plain, hence the decision to turn it into a lake. And we all thought the government of the time was just being nice!

Flood plain or not, if the lake wasn’t there right now, Snow and VBC would be fighting over who gets to build medium density housing the quickest….

troll-sniffer 4:23 pm 12 Jul 11

Me no fry said :

I wonder – if the lake hadn’t been built then, and was in planning now, what are the chances it would never be built?

Sources tell me that the lake is not as altruistic as you might think… the area occupied by the lake could not have been built on as it was a flood plain, hence the decision to turn it into a lake. And we all thought the government of the time was just being nice!

aronde 4:17 pm 12 Jul 11

Me no fry said :

I wonder – if the lake hadn’t been built then, and was in planning now, what are the chances it would never be built?[/quote>

The lake might get built but the bridges would only be one lane in each direction…

arescarti42 4:07 pm 12 Jul 11

Ergh! All that 1960s optimism makes me retch. Didn’t those people know the communists were going to blow them up any day?

On a serious note:

Keijidosha said :

Spectra said :

braddonboy said :

One thing I certainly do not remember is the little bridge at 11:36 in the video.

I wondered about that too. I think it’s the same one you can see at 7:23, and from that angle it looks like it might be the original footbridge to Aspen Island.

Correct.

I must disagree. I think you’ll find it was the original bridge on the south side of Nerang Pool, before it was replaced as part of the Menzies walk project.

You can see the weir behind the bridge at 11:37

BenMac 4:07 pm 12 Jul 11

Keijidosha said :

Spectra said :

braddonboy said :

One thing I certainly do not remember is the little bridge at 11:36 in the video.

I wondered about that too. I think it’s the same one you can see at 7:23, and from that angle it looks like it might be the original footbridge to Aspen Island.

Correct.

Really? As metioned in the 1st post, I believe it is the bridge that was located in Commonwealth Park, now replaced by the new bridge part of the R.G Menzies walk.

banjo 3:58 pm 12 Jul 11

Woh Spielberg stole the music from this video for ET!

switch 3:17 pm 12 Jul 11

Such simple pleasures in those days. Thanks for the find.

Keijidosha 3:09 pm 12 Jul 11

Spectra said :

braddonboy said :

One thing I certainly do not remember is the little bridge at 11:36 in the video.

I wondered about that too. I think it’s the same one you can see at 7:23, and from that angle it looks like it might be the original footbridge to Aspen Island.

Correct.

Thumper 2:52 pm 12 Jul 11

excellent!

Spectra 2:33 pm 12 Jul 11

braddonboy said :

One thing I certainly do not remember is the little bridge at 11:36 in the video.

I wondered about that too. I think it’s the same one you can see at 7:23, and from that angle it looks like it might be the original footbridge to Aspen Island.

Me no fry 2:25 pm 12 Jul 11

Holy nostalgia, Batman! Say what you like about Ming, but his support for Canberra as the nation’s capital yielded results that no prime minister since has cared to emulate (or even feign).

I wonder – if the lake hadn’t been built then, and was in planning now, what are the chances it would never be built?

Keijidosha 1:56 pm 12 Jul 11

What a wonderful video! I’d like to see more of this kind of thing.

braddonboy 1:55 pm 12 Jul 11

Great stuff…I’d nearly forgotten what Canberra had looked like when I arrived here in September ’64.One thing I certainly do not remember is the little bridge at 11:36 in the video. Where is it? Is it the bridge over the lakeside entrance to Nerang Pool in Commonwealth Park?

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