Bernard O`DowdPrint Page
A relief portrait and tablet commemorates the poet Bernard O`Dowd who was educated in Ballarat.
O`Dowd was a poet, radical and parliamentary draughtsman. On 2 October 1897, O`Dowd and two colleagues published the first number of a radical weekly, the Tocsin, associated with the United Labor Party. In this paper he wrote a regular column as `Gavah the Blacksmith`. At the time of Federation he posed the question, `Does Australia have a soul?`
His 1902 Tocsin pamphlet, Conscience and Democracy, was at once opposed to the South African War and expressive of a fear of mob rule, an anxiety which always played a part in his `Young Democracy`. In 1912 he denounced the White Australia policy as `unbrotherly, undemocratic and unscientific`. In 1913 O`Dowd was president of the Victorian Rationalist Association.
During his latter years, although he had virtually ceased writing poetry, O`Dowd was very much the visible poet, addressing meetings, writing verses for public occasions . In 1952 he broke a long poetic silence by producing two poems for the centenary of Australian Unitarianism. One of them included the hope `That we shall see our dream of Oneness realized`.
|Address:||Doveton Street North, City Library, Ballarat, 3350|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -37.558308|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Monument Designer:||Wallace Anderson|
Born Beaufort 1866
Educated at Ballarat
"Not a maxim has needled through time,
But a poet has feathered its shaft,
Not a law is a boon to the people
But he has dictated its draft."
R. A. Crouch Donor