The Memorial Gates originally formed the gateway to the ‘Seaspray Recreation Reserve’ which James Weir McLachlan, MLA, gazetted on the 6th February 1928.
James McLachlan was known as both the “Father of Seaspray” and “the Hiking Politician” winning 12 elections in the Gippsland North electorate between the years of 1908 – 1938. He had worked tirelessly to clear and build the road from Sale to Seaspray, with the help of many volunteers attending countless working bees.
James McLachlan was born 16th August 1862 and died 18th September 1938.
The memorial gates dedicated to Mr McLachlan’s huge contribution to the town are a reminder of the history, and of those pioneers who toiled to put Seaspray on the map, so to speak . . .
Originally named Prospect, the following article “Who Founded Seaspray?“, published on the 3rd March 1921, quotes excerpts of a letter to the editor:
“Sir, – Fifty years ago [c 1871] Mr. W. F. Foster, our then Police Magistrate, the original Mr. Wm. Pearson, of Kilmany, Mr. L[emuel]. Bolden [his brother-in-law], of the Aurora Flour Mills, with their wives and children, and their nurses, and numerous other people, were in the habit of camping for weeks in the summer in tilted wagons, tents, &c., on the beach at Prospect, which has recently been called Seaspray. It was realised from the first that the place would always be a valuable seaside resort in summer, not only for Sale, but for all the surrounding districts; the one great drawback was the difficulty in getting there in the absence of anything like a passable road leading to it. And Mr. [James] McLachlan is fully entitled to the gratitude of the whole community for his unselfishness and untiring exertions for many years in providing a road for the benefit of the public; and if he were presented with a comfortable residence at Seaspray he would not be overpaid for the trouble he has taken for a long time past to provide that place with its first and most essential need. Many old residents were flabbergasted on reading Cr. A. G. Futcher’s letter in Monday’s ‘Times’ [February 28], to find that gentleman claiming to be the founder of Seaspray! He says ‘Twenty years ago, when I founded Seaspray – ‘ Really his modesty is delightful! Cr. A. G. Futcher has always been known to look after No. 1, and he has done very well. But honour to whom honour is due; and old residents know that Seaspray would be what is is today if Cr. A. G. Futcher had never existed. But Seaspray would have been many years behind what it is today if Mr. McLachlan had not given his services without any remuneration. And while some are striving to have a part of Seaspray cut up and sold, which would offer a safe speculation in which to invest their capital, let us at least be fair to Mr. McLachlan, and give him, and not Cr. Futcher, the credit for making Seaspray what it is. – Yours, &c. . . . “
The following article published on the 20th October 1938 displays the enthusiasm of commemorating his efforts: Gippsland Times – 20 Oct 1938
.Of recent years, much controversy has surrounded the removal of the Memorial Gates as they were not wide enough to cater for the new caravan park traffic. Through intensive public protest, the gates have been preserved and relocated.
– Close proximity to Town Centre – obtain Directions here
– Parking is available along Futcher Road
– Nearby Features:
– Facilities available at Seaspray
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Sorry, unable to load the Maps API.
- Sealed Road