California Gully Mechanics Institute

The construction of the building, in School Street, California Gully was commenced in 1861-62 with several additions over the following 35 years.
It has been an important public building to the local community for a long time, commencing as a school between 1862 and 1878, then a Mechanics Institute & Free Library between 1883 and the 1950's and in more recent times as a public hall.
It is of regional cultural heritage significance because of its genesis in a landmark era of regional development and its links to important social and educational themes in the history of the Bendigo region.
Regrettably the building was allowed to deteriorate considerably until an agreement was reached between the City of Greater Bendigo and the Rotary Club of Eaglehawk in mid 2003 for the Club to be appointed as Committee of Management. Seed funding from the City was provided to assist with the initial renovation, particularly to prevent further damage being caused by rising damp and roof leakage.
With further financial support from the City, coupled with an enormous amount of volunteer labour provided by Club members, the restored building was officially “opened” by then Mayor of the City, Cr. Rod Fyffe in the presence of then Governor of Rotary District 9800, Judy Nettleton on the 20th of February 2005, thus coinciding with the Centenary of Rotary International. Further restoration works have continued since then, particularly to the extensive external land areas.
The building is nowadays in constant use, not only by our Club as its “home”, but also by many other organisations and the community at large.
Thanks to the contributions and work done by our club and the City of Greater Bendigo, the future of this historic building is assured.