I am back again for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge so have made the commitment to blog every day in April except the Sundays. Some bloggers choose a Theme, and others do random posts. For me, a theme works better, so the theme I’ve chosen for 2016 is Bendigo, a large provincial city in central Victoria, Australia. I live just outside Bendigo and have been in this area for only 9 years, so feel I still have ‘visitors eyes’.
V is for Vahland, William Charles, very well known in Bendigo as architect of many of Bendigo’s iconic buildings. He designed many more buildings than most people realise, with over 100 buildings to his name.
Vahland was born in Germany in 1828 and emigrated to Victoria in 1854, for the goldrush. Being unsuccessful at finding gold, he started his own architecture firm in Bendigo with another German architect, Robert Getzschmann. He became a justice of the peace and served on many boards in Bendigo, becoming very well known and respected as a responsible citizen as well as for his architectural designs.
- Shamrock Hotel
- Town Hall
- School of Mines
- Alexandra Fountain
- Rosalind Park
- Bendigo Hospital
The above buildings are just a few of his most recognised works. He also designed many of the finer homes of Bendigo along with many of the smaller cottages.
In 1914 when war broke out, Vahland, as a German was considered to be an enemy alien. He was not allowed to sell any of his assets and was stripped of his official standing on many of the boards to which he had made a lasting contribution over the previous years. He also held the position of mayor of the City of Bendigo for a time.
It is thought that when he died in 1915, he died a broken man.
Obituary from: The Argus, Melbourne 22 July 1915 page 8 source: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1540051
Vahland, William Charles (1828–1915): The death occurred yesterday of Mr. William Charles Vahland, one of Bendigo’s oldest pioneers. Mr. Vahland, who was 87 years of age, was an architect by profession, and the many public buildings designed by him in the goldfields city include the town hall, hospital, School of Mines, Benevolent Asylum, Mechanics’ Institute, Royal Princess Theatre, Masonic Hall, and the Alexandra Fountain. For 38 years he was chairman and managing director of the Bendigo Mutual Permanent Land and Building Society. He had been a justice of the peace for over 40 years, and a member of the hospital committee and administrative council of the School of Mines for many years. He was secretary of the Golden and Corinthian Lodge of Freemasons, and in 1904 he published a History of Freemasonry in Bendigo. He was a P.D.G.M. of the order, and at one time he was mayor of the city.