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Stobie Pole party planned as iconic part of SA’s history marks 100th year

Discover how South Australia is celebrating the centenary of its iconic Stobie pole, with history festivals, community events, and a special tribute to 100 wonderful South Australians at the heart of the festivities.

Photo: SA Power Network

South Australia’s distinctive Stobie pole is marking its centenary this year. Patented officially in July 1924 by the former Adelaide Electric Supply Company, this invention came into being due to a inadequate supply of timber for poles in South Australia and a persistent termite issue. James ‘Cyril’ Stobie, an engineer, is the creator of this iconic concrete and steel pole.

The maiden pole was erected in South Terrace in the city in 1924. Currently, over 650,000 Stobie poles are in place, sharing power across approximately 180,000 square kilometres in South Australia.

Paul Roberts, Head of Corporate Affairs for SA Power Networks, said, “The Stobie is a distinctly South Australian icon, as unique as the Hills Hoist, Coopers Beer and Frog Cakes.” He also asserted that, even as we transition towards a renewables energy system, the Stobie pole would retain its essential role in the State’s power supply.

Mr Roberts revealed that SA Power Networks is planning some events and initiatives to commemorate the Stobie pole this year. Celebrations for the Stobie’s centenary will include various arts, history and community events, leading up to a birthday celebration at the SA Power Networks Stobie plant at Angle Park in mid-July.

He added, “Every Stobie manufactured at Angle Park this year will be stamped to commemorate the anniversary.”

Roberts expressed particular anticipation for the 2024 partnerships with the History Trust and the Helpmann Academy. “This year’s History Festival in May has the incredibly appropriate theme of ‘Power’ and the Stobie will be used to honour 100 wonderful South Australians. We will open the Angle Park facility for public tours during the Festival,” Roberts explained. These tours have already gained such popularity that they are fully booked.

There are also proposals for an arts installation commissioned by the Helpmann Academy, which is known for its support of new and emerging artists. This initiative will serve as part of the celebration of the Stobie Pole’s 100th anniversary in 2024.

More details around the birthday celebrations are yet to be released at https://www.sapowernetworks.com.au/

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