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"The Spirit of Botany" (Sir Joseph Banks) Print Page Print this page

06-November-2015
06-November-2015
Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

Sculptural figure “The Spirit Of Botany” erected as a tribute to Sir Joseph Banks after whom Bankstown is named.

The Spirit of Botany was designed and constructed by Sydney sculptor Alan Ingham to commemorate Sir Joseph Banks’ lifelong interest in Botany. It consists of a symbolic figure of a woman representing Botany, seated in an informal arrangement of natural rocks, holding a plant aloft.

The figure, which is made of cast aluminium, is 3.15 metres high and weighs approx 386 kilograms, was unveiled on 7 April 1964. 

In 2012 The Spirit of Botany was moved from the southern courtyard of the old Town Hall to the south-western corner of Paul Keating Park.

A wooden framework being built in a Newport studio is the beginning of a memorial to Australia's first botanist, Sir Joseph Banks. By the end of November the framework will contain the statue of a woman, with arms outstreched and a flower held in the right hand. The statue will stand on 6ft. of rock at the Bankstown Civic Centre, Sydney. Bankstown Council commissioned Mr. Alan Ingham to do the statue of the man for whom the suburb is named. Mr. Ingham told the council a statue, representing the spirit of botany, would marry into the contemporary style of architecture at the new centre. "It would be controversial and create far more interest than a statue of the man," Mr. Ingham said. The council accepted his recommendation. 
The Canberra Times (ACT),  25 July 1963.


When the Royal Society was successful in initiating Captain Cook`s 1768 expedition to Tahiti for astronomical observations, Banks obtained permission from the Admiralty to join the venture. They made collections and observations in South America, Tahiti and New Zealand before reaching Australia. His major landfalls on the eastern coast of Australia were at Botany Bay (28 April - 5 May 1770) and at the Endeavour River (17 June - 3 August).When the British government was casting about for a suitable place to establish a penal colony Banks was an advocate for Botany Bay. After the settlement was established at Sydney Cove, he encouraged further investigation of the natural history of the area and became the acknowledged authority on matters relating to New South Wales. His impact on the study of natural history in both Britain and Australia cannot be overestimated.

Location

Address:The Mall, Paul Keating Park , Bankstown, 2200
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.915875
Long: 151.034595
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Science
Monument Designer:Alan Ingham

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 7th April, 1964
Front Inscription
SIR JOSEPH BANKS
Botanist 1743 - 1820
This monument is a tribute to Sir Joseph Banks,
after whom Bankstown is named.
He sailed in the Endeavour with Captain James
Cook on his first world voyage 1768 to 1771, and
collected botanical and scientific specimens at
Botany Bay from 28th April to 6th May, 1770
On his return to England, his enthusiasm for
settlement at Botany Bay, combined with his growing
stature as a scientist, had a considerable bearing
on the decision to send the first fleet to these shores.
He has been called the "Father of Australia" 
Source: H, MA
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