Lake Burley Griffin was nearing its completion on this day in 1964, as officials from the Department of Interior expected it to reach its final level following a week of almost continuous rain. It was still eight inches below capacity, but was expected to be completely filled by this day 58 years ago. Nowadays, Canberrans are very familiar with the lake, often using it to picnic next to, fish in, or cruise across. But back then, the first glimpse of the nearly completed Lake Burley Griffin was an exciting prospect, and it saw thousands of motorists touring the lake foreshores to be the first to experience it.
The national rowing championships and Olympic trials had been relocated due to the rapid rise in the lake, allowing rowers to use it for the competition. It was described by officials as the best 2000-metre course in Australia, and, following an inspection by representatives of the NSW and the ACT Rowing Associations, the Department of the Interior and the NCDC, was given the all-clear for use. Before the race, the Works Department would send a works boat to do a final inspection of the newly filled lake as a safety precaution.
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