The Blue Lake Wall and Rook's Walk

The building of the high stone wall for ten chains along the Bay Road by the Blue Lake, near the Gordon Monument, was the single most important result of the Great Working Bee of November 27, 1918.

The Mount Gambier Improvement Committee had begun its planning two months before - the Great Wall was almost over, and people wanted to do something for the town. On a local public holiday eight hundred men of the Mount Gambier district from all walks of life gathered in Commercial Street at 7 a.m. A convoy of motor vehicles ferried them to the Lakes, where they were organised with exquisite efficiency to complete, almost in a single day, the 10-14 foot high stone wall, together with three wooden look-outs, over the Leg of Mutton, Valley and Blue Lakes respectively. Over a thousand visitors and school children came to cheer them on, two bands played, and doctors stood by to receive casualties. Three hundred dauntless women provided the multitude with meals.

Over the next four months the Committee and smaller groups of enthusiasts finished off the stone rest house and the planting of lawns and shrubs. The president of the Committee responsible for this extraordinary effort was Mr. Arthur Rook, licensee of the Mount Gambier Hotel from 1907 until his premature death in the Spanish flu epidemic in 1919. The path along the bank at the top of the wall was later named after him - Rook's Walk.

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