I AGREE whole-heartedly with Quinton Wilkinson as he praises the dedicated work of Bob Wuestewald and his group of volunteers who have worked diligently to return the paddle steamer to Lake Wendouree.
The boat referred to by Quinton is of course the Golden City paddle steamer and not the Begonia Princess as he states.
The Begonia Princess was beautifully restored and returned to the lake during 2012.
Quinton is right again when he describes it as 'wonderful to see'.
Yes, it has taken the current group of volunteers a while to achieve the ' task of building a brand new paddleboat, all credit to them, but if it was not for the dedicated work of the original group of volunteers and their wonderful sponsors and contributors there would not have been a Golden City to duplicate.
The original would probably have seen its life out in another location in Australia. We must acknowledge, too, that the Paddle Steamer Society was responsible for the magnificent restoration of Gill's Boatshed and the establishment of the Boatshed Restaurant.
I also saw the Golden City on the lake and I pondered the pleasure the boat had brought to countless thousands of Ballarat citizens and visitors since it was launched on June 16, 1885.
The history of the Golden City Paddle Steamer, I have written but not yet published, is a tapestry of the lake and the grandeur of a forgotten era.
Past president and life member of the Golden City Paddle Steamer Museum Society, Lake Gardens