In the heart of Toowoomba, a city that thrives on tradition and history, there exists a symbol of leadership that shines brightly and beautifully. We, at Hogans Family Jewellers, are immensely proud to be part of this story having contributed to the Toowoomba Mayoral chains on several occasions. For over seven decades, we have been crafting exquisite fine jewellery and these bespoke undertakings have allowed us to continue our involvement in creating history for our beloved city. Today, we are delighted to share the process behind the plate creation for Toowoomba's newly appointed Mayor, Geoff McDonald.
The Tradition of Mayoral Chains
Mayoral chains, also known as mayoral regalia or mayoral insignia, are worn by mayors during official events and ceremonies. They are a symbol of authority, responsibility, and the connection between civic leaders and the community they serve. These chains are typically made from precious metals and adorned with intricate designs that reflect the city's culture and history.
Toowoomba’s Mayoral Chains
The Toowoomba Mayoral Chains have been an integral part of our city's tradition for generations. Crafted in 9k gold, they are a testament to our city's commitment to excellence and the enduring values that define Toowoomba. These chains, though intricate in design and opulent in material, are more than just ornaments. They are a connection to the past and a bridge to the future.
Originally commissioned in 1900, the Toowoomba Mayoral chains have seen the city through countless milestones, both significant and symbolic. They have graced the shoulders of Mayors who have led the city with distinction, guided by the principles of integrity and service. Some have included Nellie Elizabeth Robinson, the first female Mayor to be elected in Queensland and Toowoomba’s second longest serving Mayor; James Douglas Annand, Toowoomba's longest-serving Mayor who held his position for 22 years; and William Henry Groom, Toowoomba's first Mayor who was elected six times between 1861 and 1884.
Pictured above: Nellie Elizabeth Robinson
Pictured above: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll touring Toowoomba in 1954 with Mayor Mervyn Anderson who wears the Toowoomba Mayoral Chains (photo courtesy of Toowoomba Chronicle).
The design of the Toowoomba Mayoral chains are a masterpiece in its own right. Crafted in 9k gold, they are made up of three rows of expertly engraved plates, each bearing the name of a former Mayor. Intricate links connect each of these plates while a beautifully crafted medallion sits front and centre. The tradition of adding a new plate for each Mayor ensures that the chains remain a living record of the city's leadership.
In August 2023, Hogans Family Jewellers had the great privilege of crafting an entirely new 9k gold name plate for Toowoomba Mayor, Geoff McDonald. From each hand-engraved initial and border element to the soldering of jump rings and polishing of the metal, the process involved precision to ensure the new addition was consistent with previous plates dating back to the 1800s.
The Toowoomba Mayoral chains are more than just a masterpiece of fine jewellery; they are a living symbol of our city’s history and the dedication of its leaders. Hogans Family Jewellers is honoured to have contributed to this precious artefact, and as we look to the future, we are reminded that tradition and history are the cornerstones of a thriving community. The Toowoomba Mayoral chains will forever stand as a testament to the enduring spirit of Toowoomba and the values that have shaped our city for over a century.