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Brother Francis Gatti : 25-January-2011
Brother Francis Gatti : 25-January-2011

Photographs supplied by Glen Yeomans/ David Evans OAM

Memorial commemorates Brother Francis Gatti`s hard work which transformed Central Park before its offical proclaimation on 31 May 1887.

Central Park was shown as a reserve in the town plan of 1866 and dedicated as a park in 1874. In 1882 a local Capuchin monk, Brother Francis Gatti, volunteered to look after the plants in the park  and was commissioned to go to Sydney to select 400 trees. After initial vandalism Brother Gatti's perserverance and horticultural skills in the park prevailed.


Address:Faulkner Street, Central Park, Armidale, 2350
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -30.515567
Long: 151.665633
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2000
Front Inscription

"Reserve No 8" which became Armidale's Central Park was dedicated on 24 February 1874. By the time it was formally proclaimed on 31 May 1887 , the facetiously named "Dismal Park " was becoming a place of engaging charm and beauty. This transformation was due largely to the interest, skill and energy of Brother Francis Gatti, a Capuchian lay-brother.

The son of a farmer, Guilio Gatti was born at Iesi, Italy on 9 December 1833. He joined the Capuchian Order on 5 March 1856, taking the name Brother Francis. From 1867 he served at various Missions in Wales. He arrived in Armidale in November 1879 with the Most Reverend Elzear Torreggiani DD, OFSC, Second Catholic Bishop of Armidale (1879-1904).

Brother Francis applied his knowledge of horticulture and arboriculture to beautify the grounds of the first Catholic Cathedral, the Ursuline Convent and the Catholic portion of the Armidale Cemetery. By June 1882, he volunteered to tend the plants in this park, and was shortly commissioned to travel to Sydney "to select 400 trees". Despite his efforts "to make the plot of ground an ornament to the City", Brother Francis was frequently thwarted by "larrikins" of his time. He persevered however, and lived to see the early results of his labours before he died on 5 November 1891 during an influenza epidemic.
Si monumentum requiris, circumspice

This memorial to Brother Francis was erected in 2000. It was funded by Armidale Dumaresq Council.
Supported by Armidale and District Historical Society.




Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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