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Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The stained glass window commemorates Samuel Walker McGowan (1829 - 1887), scientist and administrator. 

Samuel McGowan was taught by Professor Samuel Morse, and he gained practical experience with several telegraph companies in North America.

On 1 March 1854 he was appointed general superintendent of the Electric Telegraph Department of Victoria and two days later the first telegraph service south of the equator was opened. By December the experimental line had been extended to Geelong. In 1857 all main centres were connected and lines radiated from Melbourne westwards to Portland and northwards to the Murray River, and by the end of October, telegraph communication between the three capital cities flowed freely.

In March 1869 the postal and telegraph departments were amalgamated and McGowan became inspector of postal and telegraph service. Early in 1885 he was appointed the Deputy Postmaster-General.

The stained glass window erected in Holy Trinity Church, Balaclava, by the officers of the Bank of Australasia to the memory of Mr. E. S. Parkes has just been completed. It represents full length figures of the four evangelists, with their traditional symbols, and has been well executed by Messrs. Gibbs and Howard, of London. Below the window is a handsome brass plate with a suitable inscription. In addition to this memorial, a carved stone reredos has been erected in the chancel by a few personal friends of the late Mr. Parkes. The heads of the various branches of the Post and Telegraph department have also placed a stained window by the same firm, and representing the crucifixion, in the south transept of the church, in memory of the late Mr S W. M'Cowan (sic), formerly deputy Postmaster-General. Both the deceased gentlemen were for many years active members of the Balaclava Church vestry.
Telegraph, St Kilda, Prahran and South Yarra Guardian (Vic.),
17 March 1888.


Address:175 - 177 Chapel Street, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Balaclava, 3183
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.870761
Long: 144.989616
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Window
Monument Theme:People
Monument Manufacturer:Gibbs & Howard (London, England)


Front Inscription

In Memoriam

Samuel Walker McGowan

Plaque :

In memory of Samuel Walker McGowan

Deputy Post Master General of Victoria

One of the Vestry of this Parish

Born in Londonderry 4th January 1829

Died at St Kilda 18th April 1887

The above has been erected by the Officers of the Post and Telegraph Department

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au