At the top of the shield on a red background (signifying courage) are two golden sheafs of wheat that represent the agricultural economy of both the early settlers and the present day.
At the bottom of the shield is a geared wheel to show the industrial nature of the community. It is placed over an anchor to suggest our marine economy and also the fact that our location as a city was first charted by Captain, later Admiral William Fitzwilliam Owen.
The spokes of the wheel form a quatrefoil which could be interpreted as a four bladed propeller.
The place of importance on the shield is reserved for the horn, which according to local history, was blown by John Telfer, our first citizen, to attract the attention of Charles Rankin, the government surveyor, who was in the bush near the site of our present city hall when Telfer arrived. The shield is supported on the right by a pioneer who, dressed in the costume of the early 1800’s, rests an axe near his feet. The axe was chosen to signify the labour in clearing the site for homesteads.
The Native person wears the headdress of the earliest known tribe in the valley, because of the custom of tying their hair in a lock at the crown of the head, Champlain and the French explorers called these people “cheveux releves” or high hairs. He carries a bow to indicate a hunting economy.
The ribbon bears the Latin motto “arbor virga fuit” which means the tree follows the twig or more correctly “as the twig is bent so grows the tree”.