A small ceremonial shovel. The shaft of the shovel is polished wood with a small curved handle. The head of the shovel is polished silver, with engraved text " PRESENTED TO / S.G. SMITH ESQ. / By Contractors J.T. Julian and Son / On the occasions of turning the first sod / ON THE MANGAMAHOE DAM CONTRACT / 25. 3. 29 ".
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Sydney turned the first sod on the Lake Mangamahoe dam project in 1929, and this miniature shovel was presented to him in honour of the occasion. Lake Mangamahoe was created by damming an area and flooding 79 acres. The dam was created to provide more water for New Plymouth's rapidly growing population. The lake was filled with water in 1931.