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Adam Lindsay GordonPrint Page Print this page

21-August-2004
21-August-2004

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson
A sculpture commemorates the poet Adam Lindsay Gordon. 

The statue was erected by public subscription, and combines his love of poetry (book in left hand and pencil in right) with his greater fame (he wears riding boots, breeches and shirt rolled up and under the seat is a saddle and stirrups).  Gordon won the Hunt Club Cup, the Metropolitan Steeplechase and the Selling Steeplechase at Flemington all on one day in 1868.  He took his own life in a fit of despair at Brighton in 1870.  Paul Montford was awarded the Gold Medal at the Royal Society of Britain Sculptors for the finest piece of sculpture in 1934, but not before he had corrected the modern hexagonal pencil to a round draughtsman's pencil of the period.

Adam Lindsay Gordon (1833-1870) was born in 1833 at Fayal in the Azores where his mother's father had a plantation. He completed his education in England and was sent by his family to South Australia in 1853 where he enlisted in the mounted police. He was briefly a member of Parliament and lived in Western Australia and Ballarat before moving to Melbourne. During his time in Ballarat he suffered a severe head injury in a riding accident, was bankrupted by a fire in the livery stable and lost his infant daughter. The day after the publication of his poems in Bush Ballads and Galloping Rhymes he committed suicide on Brighton Beach in Melbourne.

In the presence of over two thousand people yesterday afternoon the Premier (Sir S. Argyle) unveiled the memorial statue of Australia's first national poet, Adam Lindsay Gordon. The statue is a splendid bronze depicting the famous poet-sportsman in a sitting posture, and two quotations from his works and from Kendall about Gordon are carved on the massive freestone pedestal.

The president of the Gordon Memorial Committee (Mr. C. H. Long) apologised for the unavoidable absence through sudden indisposition of Mr Tunnecliffe. M.L.A., and the Lord Mayor (Cr. Smith). Mr. W. Slater, M.L.A., was also unable to be present, and Mr. Drew, M.L.A., noted for him, whilst Mr. Holland, M.L.A., represented Mr. Tunnecliffe. Mr. Long dealt at length with the development of the Gordon memorial fund during the past 23 years, and warmly eulogised every member of the committee, especially Mr. P. C. E. Widdop, hon. secretary and treasurer. Warm tribute was also paid to the indefatigable zeal of the members of the Australian Natives' Association in the matter of raising funds. There was great applause when Mr. Long said that he envied no man so much as the sculptor, Mr. Paul Montford. 
Excerpt from The Age (Melbourne),  31 October 1932.

Location

Address:Spring Street, Gordon Reserve, Melbourne, 3000
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.812369
Long: 144.973734
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Arts
Approx. Event Start Date:1833
Approx. Event End Date:1870
Monument Designer:Paul Montford
Link:http://adb.anu.edu.au/

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 30th October, 1932
Source: MA,RUMV,VMR,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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