In the midst of The Great Depression, a federal parliamentary committee recommended spending a sum of 10,000 pounds to build baths near Telopea Park school, in Canberra's inner south.
It was to be built in part by so-called sustenance workers, unemployed men who worked on government projects in exchange for food rations.
Those baths - known now as Manuka Pool - will celebrate their 90th anniversary on Australia Day next year.
The pool is a Canberra icon and much-used community asset: more than 30,000 people pass through each swim season.
The Depression-era spending has, by any reasonable standard, left a lasting legacy.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has the Manuka Pool in mind as he pieces together what he has described as a "very ambitious" program of spending to lift the territory through the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression.
Mr Barr has foreshadowed stimulus in excess of $1 billion in the next two years, with spending to focus on health, schools, vocational education, public transport, energy infrastructure and general maintenance.
The immediate objective is clear and obvious - spend big to create jobs.
But Mr Barr has been clear that any massive public investment must deliver benefits beyond a short-lived uptick in construction activity.
They must, like the Manuka Pool, leave a legacy.
The chief minister has the right approach. Now he needs to follow through on his word.
The pandemic-induced crisis presents both an immense opportunity and a significant risk to the state and territory leaders being urged to inject $40 billion of stimulus into the Australian economy in the next 24 months.
Spent wisely, future generations could inherit Manuka Pool-equivalents in health, education and public transport, true legacy projects which are worth the debt they require.
But should the stimulus be squandered on vanity projects or dud schemes, our children and grandchildren will be left with very little to show for the very large amounts of debt they'll be lumped with and forced to repay.
It would be tempting for Mr Barr and Labor to use this week's mini-ACT budget, and the spending needed to spark Canberra's coronavirus recovery, primarily to advance their own interests ahead of the territory election on October 17. It would be tempting for Mr Barr to use the stimulus to help cement his own personal legacy.
Those living in Canberra today cannot afford that. Nor can those Canberrans in generations to come.