E LUCAS & CO
This business, which was founded by Mrs Eleanor Price, later Lucas, as a very small enterprise expanded from the manufacture of ladies undergarments – white work – into clothing – dressmaking – and children's clothing. This progress took the business from small premises in James Street, Ballarat East, to the building in Armstrong and Doveton Streets, Ballarat, where the Phoenix Foundry Co, had operated.
The work force of 500 was almost without exception composed of women.
Prior to June 1917, the firm was recognised as being 'weary in well doing' due to its involvement in many big patriotic undertakings.
Significant staff at Lucas & Co were important advocates for the recognition of every person, who had enlisted from Ballarat. These included Mrs Tilly Thompson, senior saleswoman, who used her Methodist zeal to gather the resources for some 3900 trees which were planted in the Avenue of Honour.
'The Lucas Girls, as they came to be known, raised funds to plant the trees in the Avenue of Honour. Their work encouraged other organisations to sponsor trees in some sections. Further fund raising led to the construction of the Arch of Victory at the east end of the avenue.. The growing status of the Avenue resulted in the visit of HRH Prince of Wales to open the Arch in 1920.