History of Walsh Bay.

History of Walsh Bay.

 

Henry Deane Walsh (1853 - 1921). The First Engineer-in-chief of the Sydney Harbour Trust.

Walsh migrated to New South Wales in 1877, and joined the Department of Public Works in January 1878 as a surveyor for the Sydney water supply scheme.

As resident engineer in Newcastle in 1879, he was responsible for the construction of the Walka pumping station and reservoir, and flood protection works on the Hunter River at Maitland.

At Newcastle, Walsh developed a new harbour basin and Walsh Island (site of the State dockyards), built mid-stream in the Hunter River from dredged silt.

Walsh moved to Sydney as engineer-in-chief of the Sydney Harbour Trust when it was established in 1901. His engineering and administrative abilities were evident in the remodeling of Dawes and Millers points, including the design and construction of the Walsh Bay and Jones Bay wharves and cargo-handling systems. Walsh designed and constructed a new system of wharves, stores and associated roads and hydraulic systems to service them.

The design of Walsh Bay included a ‘rat proof’ Monier pre-cast concrete seawall to address the issue of the bubonic plague of 1900. The wall prevented rats from living in the sea wall and infecting surrounding residents.

Henry Deane Walsh was responsible for the upgrade of the Port of Sydney and is remembered as one of the most enterprising and skilled engineers of his day.

Almost £5 million was spent on the Sydney Harbour front under his direct supervision. Appointed commissioner of the trust in 1913, he retired in 1919.

His achievements were commemorated in the designation of Walsh Island in Newcastle Harbour and Walsh Bay on Sydney's waterfront.

For more on Henry Walsh see Australian Dictionary of Biography

 

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