Dr. Edward Albert KochPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Diane Watson / John Huth

A fountain unveiled in 1903 commemorates Dr Edward Albert Koch who died in 1901.

Malaria was endemic in Far North Queensland in the late 19th century, and Koch`s fever remedy and recognition of the role of mosquitos in the transmission of the disease were important to the settlement of the area. Dr Koch arrived in Cairns in 1884. As a result of the arrival of the Europeans and Chinese and their diseases, the eighties saw the greatest spread of tropical diseases in the north. Malaria was particularly prevalent, killing crews on ships and leaving men prostrate for days in the hospital.

The Equadorians knew that quinine was a cure for malaria and the knowledge had reached Europe by the seventeenth century. Dr Koch's celebrated fever mixture, still obtainable from a Cairns chemist in the 1970s, combined quinine with lemon juice. His prescription for daily ingestion, recommended its use not only as a treatment but also as a suppressive. Dr Koch also understood the role of the mosquito in carrying malaria, this being the time when climactic explanations for disease were being replaced by a notion that various organisms were responsible.

His Excellency, Sir H. Chermside, on Saturday afternoon unveiled the handsome memorial to the late Dr. Koch which has been erected by the citizens of Cairns at the intersection of Spence and Abbott-streets. The ceremony was an impressive one and fully 600 people were present, including members of the Oddfellows, Hibernians, and Druid Friendly Societies.

Punctually at 3 p.m. His Excellency accompanied by Lady Chermside, Capt. Webb (aid-de-camp), the Mayor (Alderman Severin), and Miss " Tory" Severin, arrived, and were escorted within the railing by Alderman Tills, who, in referring to the memorial, said that it was the spontaneous recognition by the people among whom Dr. Koch had so long lived and worked, of the kindliness of heart and nobleness which had actuated every action of his life. The committee were fortunate in being able to have the monument erected at a time which enabled the unveiling ceremony to be performed by His Excellency.

After the unveiling, His Excellency and Lady Chermside, accompanied by Mrs Koch and her children, closely examined tbe memorial, and on Mr Melrose, (Melrose and Fenwick) who erected the memorial, being presented to him, he congratulated him upon the fine piece of work.
Morning Post (Cairns, Qld), 16 June 1903.



Address:Abbott & Spence Streets, Casino, Cairns, 4870
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -16.922972
Long: 145.778525
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:People
Monument Manufacturer:Melrose & Fenwick (Townsville, QLD)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 13th June, 1903
Front Inscription


Source: MA,NRUM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design