Sources for all text: John Monash: A Biography by Geoffrey Serle (Melbourne University Press, 1982) and Monash by Vernon R. Northwood with assistance from Dr. Gershon Bennett (State Electricity Commission of Victoria, 1950)
John Monash completed his secondary schooling at Scotch College in 1881, where he was equal Dux of the school and Dux in Mathematics and Modern Languages. He subsequently enrolled in the Arts faculty at Melbourne University with the intention of becoming an engineer.
In 1885 before completing his degree, he found employment on the new Princes Bridge and over the next two years assisted the contractor David Munro on this and other bridges in the Footscray, Moonee Ponds and Coburg areas.
In April 1888 he was appointed to take charge of the Outer Circle railway works, an eastern suburban line from Oakleigh to Fairfield via Camberwell, for the contractors Graham and Wadick. The project was completed in January 1891 and Monash subsequently took up a position with the Harbor Trust where he remained for two and a half years during the worst of the depression and was able to continue his studies part-time.
Above: Certificate of Competency as Municipal Surveyor, 1891
Above: Certificate of Competency as Engineer of Water Supply, Victoria, 1892
Above: University of Melbourne Testamur - Master of Civil Engineering, 1893
In June 1894 the firm of Monash & Anderson opened in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. Joshua T. Noble Anderson had been a friend of Monash's since tutoring him for the water supply engineer's exam in 1891, and the two set up as civil, mining and mechanical engineers, and patent agents. Monash also came into demand as an advocate and expert witness in legal-engineering work, and between 1897 and 1899 spent much time in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. In September 1897 Monash & Anderson became the Victorian agents for Monier reinforced concrete construction. This led to their involvement in the building of the Anderson Street (Morell) bridge over the Yarra and becoming contractors for the Fyansford (Barwon River) and other Victorian bridges. They also took up pipe manufacture forming, with David Mitchell, the Monier Pipe Co. Pty. Ltd. of Victoria in 1901.
Above:John and Victoria Monash (left) with workmen at the Fyansford Bridge, 1899.
Above: Construction of the Morell (Anderson Street) Bridge, a "monier arch" bridge over the Yarra River, 1899.
In 1905 the Monash and Anderson partnership was dissolved and a new company, the Reinforced Concrete & Monier Pipe Construction Co. Pty. Ltd. created, to concentrate on the use of reinforced concrete in general building construction. The company undertook work on tanks, culverts, silos, country post offices, suburban banks and warehouses. The South Australian Reinforced Concrete; Co. Ltd. which Monash established (in partnership with E. H. Bakewell, David Mitchell, John Gibson and C. H. Angas) in 1907 was also a great success.
Although the Monier patents expired the Victorian company continued to do well and carried out work on the Town Hall, the Melbourne Hospital, the State Savings Bank head office, the Centre Way Arcade and various government buildings, as well as bridge and road works.
Both drawings are signed in bottom right hand corner
Left: The Encaenia, Oxford, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Laws in 1919
Back row: Prof. H. Pirenne, Rear Admiral Sir W. Hall, Dr Blakiston (Vice-Chancellor), F.W. Pember (Warden); front row: Admiral Sir Rosslyn Wemyss, General Sir John Monash, General J. Pershing, Marechal Joseph Jacques Joffre, Rt. Hon. Earl Curzon (Chancellor), General Sir Douglas Haig, Admiral Sir David Beatty, Dr H.C. Hoover, General Sir H.H. Wilson.
Doctor of Engineering, 1921 (left), and Doctor of Laws, 1922 (right), both awarded by the University of Melbourne
"The creativity, loyalty and affection [Monash] inspired seem to have few or no parallels in any other large Australian corporation. [He was] a champion who saw the SEC through to an unusual position of public pride and acclaim for a State instrumentality."
Left: Group outside Albury Town Hall after civic reception to mark the switch-on of Yallourn power at Albury, May 1926 (Monash front row fourth from left)
Two images of Sir John Monash with unidentified colleagues at construction site, Wodonga Sub-station, Albury May 1926. Monash can be seen at left in left hand side image and on right in right hand side image.