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Alfred Clark : 14-March-2012
Alfred Clark : 14-March-2012

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

A statue commemorates Alfred Thomas Clark (1845 -1888) MLA, Parliamentary representative for Williamstown.

In his seventeen years as member for Williamstown he pursued a radical, protectionist policy and strongly supported the 1872 Education Act and Berry's dismissal of the civil servants in 1878. At the height of that struggle Clark referred to the proposal that the banks issue paper money: 'Let the banks be the victims for they are virtually the Council'. After the fall of the second Berry ministry Clark adopted a more independent line. In 1874 he had founded the Williamstown Advertiser with the purpose of giving vigorous and independent expression to local issues. He died at sea on his way to England in the Oceana in May 1888.

On Saturday afternoon the unveiling of the statue to the memory of the late Mr A. T. Clark, who formerly represented Williamstown in the Legislative Assembly, was performed in the local public gardens by Sir Matthew Davies, (Speaker of the Legislative Assembly). The work, which is a product of the studio of Enrico Lucchinelli, of Cararra, has already been described, and has been paid for by local public subscription There were about 200 persons present at the ceremony. Mr Sutton, on behalf of the memorial committee introduced Sir Matthew Davies to those present. Sir Matthew Davies then said that the ceremony which he was about to perform would bring to mind one who was greatly esteemed by those amongst whom he moved. The late Mr. Clark's motto had been "justice and British fair play to all,' and that he (the speaker) knew was the keynote of his whole life. He was politically opposed to the late Mr Clark, but that fact was all the more reason why he should be selected for the honour of unveiling the monument, as the act would come with more grace from one who was not closely associated with the subject of the memorial.

The late Mr Clark was one who had a very strong desire to do that which was right. He was also very energetic in his political duties. He would here like to advise those present to make allowance for any shortcomings that they might detect in those who represented them, for the wear and tear of political life was very great;  indeed, especially to such hard workers as the late Mr Clark, who, but for that, might have been alive today. If his life had been written, it would be found that his desire had been to do justice to all. He was generous, and worked his way step by step in political life, winning the respect and esteem of all parties and his constituents. The work now before them was a memorial of the esteem in which the late Mr. Clark was held. This was not a political ceremony, but a formal handing over of the monument to the care of the mayor and councillors of the town or Williamstown, which office he now performed with very great pleasure. Sir Matthew Davies then drew from off the marble figure the British Union Jack in which it had been enveloped. After the usual formalities, the proceedings terminated.
Argus (Melbourne), 20 July 1891.

Location

Address:Giffard Street, Botanic Gardens, Williamstown, 3016
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.858611
Long: 144.897778
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Approx. Event Start Date:1871
Approx. Event End Date:1887
Monument Designer:Enrico Lucchinelli (Carrara)
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 18th July, 1891
Front Inscription

The Honourable
ALFRED THOMAS CLARK MLA 
Representative For Williamstown
In The Legislative Assembly Of Victoria
From 16th March 1871 To 11th October 1887
Erected By His Constituents 18th July 1891.

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