Started by Sir Pompously, June 24, 2010, 01:17:19 pm
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QuoteBidding to rename Lake Burley GriffinSALLY PRYOR24 Jun, 2010 10:04 AMIt was back in 1962 when Brian Franklin stumbled across a motorcycle licence in the name of Robert Charles Scrivener.Completed in an elegant copperplate script, the licence, alongside a registration certificate for a motorcycle, was slipped inside the front cover of a red leather field notebook once used by Canberra's early surveyor.The notebook was stored in a secure vault in the Commonwealth Survey Office, where Mr Franklin was a trainee draftsman.He liked the idea of Scrivener - whose image, like the majority of photographs of those employed to establish the nation's capital in the early 20th century, is of an unsmiling man with a large moustache - spending his non-working hours with the wind rushing through his hair.Mr Franklin assumed the documents had been placed there 52 years earlier, remaining undisturbed until he found them.After checking with his superior - who, he said, couldn't have cared less - he put the papers in his own files and forgot all about them.It wasn't until 34 years later, when Mr Franklin was leaving the public service and going through his papers, that he came across them again, and wondered what to do with them.Mr Franklin, who is a descendant of the writer Stella Miles Franklin, said he always knew in the back of his mind that, one day, someone else would find these incongruous documents as interesting as he did.He has a long-held interest in the history of Canberra, having grown up in the forestry settlements of Bulls Head and Uriarra.Speaking to The Canberra Times, Mr Franklin said that in keeping with his enthusiasm for all things early Canberra, he was campaigning for the name of our symbolic man made lake to be changed.He pointed to the testy relationship between Scrivener and Walter Burley Griffin, especially in relation to the form Lake Burley Griffin should take.Burley Griffin wanted a series of connected lakes on different levels, while Scrivener wanted a single lake close to what is now Scrivener Dam. The squabble ultimately led to a royal commission in 1916, which confirmed support for Griffin, although Scrivener won out on the design of the lake.Mr Franklin suggested the names of the lake and the dam be swapped to better reflect how things actually played out all those years ago. In the meantime, Mr Franklin has marked the 100th anniversary of the issue of Scrivener's licences to own and ride a motorcycle by presenting them to the National Library of Australia, where they will be added to the list of possible exhibition items for the 2013 centenary of Canberra.