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Gardiner Obelisk : June 2014
Gardiner Obelisk : June 2014

Photographs supplied by Peter F Williams

Monument commemorates Henry Gardiner who was drowned in 1874 trying to save the life of his friend.

The monument is a six metre obelisk, faced with concrete over a clinker brick core, on 1.3m clinker brick, chamfered base, stands atop Nobby Head on the southern outskirts of Port Macquarie. The memorial has unfortunately been defaced with various scratches and painted graffiti, but is substantially intact. A metal spike embeded on the northern side of the obelisk at ground level and a metal finial suggest it may at one time have had a lightening conductor. A small sandstone medallion is attached to the side of the base

John William Hume and Henry Gardiner were drowned on Empire Day (25 May) 1874 (according to death certificates). Hume fell into a deep hole and Gardiner died in an attempt to save him. Both were ex-teachers from Armidale. The first monument was destroyed by lightning.

A sad accident occurred on Monday afternoon, at the entrance  to the cave " Big Nobby."  Mr.J.W. Hume, Public School teacher at Port Macquarie slipped off the rocks, and was drowned. Mr. Gardiner Public school teacher, Huntingdon, in a brave but hopeless attempt to save him, was carried out to sea. Neither of the bodies has been recovered, Mr. Hume has left a wife and six children. Mr. Gardiner was unmarried. Further search will be made to-day.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 27th May 1874.

The memorial obelisk at Nobby's, Port Macquarie, which on November 14 last year exploded the theory for the second time that lightning does not strike twice in the same place, when it was badly shattered and a large portion fell from its peak, is to be restored the John Downes' Park Trust The history of the obelisk is well known, but worth repeating: Two schoolteachers, Messrs. Hume and Gardner were drowned at Nobby's in 1873. The man Hume was married with a family, and a subscription list taken up in the district provided something like £600 for the family, whilst a further effort, aided to a large extent by the school children, raised sufficient funds for the erection of the handsome memorial which has stood the test of time and is now a notable landmark. As far as we can ascertain, the memorial was erected by Messrs Butler and Bourne.
The Port Macquarie News and Hastings River Advocate (NSW), 4th February 1949.

Location

Address:Pacific Drive, John Downes Remembrance Park, Port Macquarie, 2444
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.447502
Long: 152.932654
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Tragedy
Approx. Event Start Date:25-May-1874
Approx. Event End Date:25- May- 1874
Monument Manufacturer:Messrs Butler & Bourne
Link:http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au

Dedication

Front Inscription

(New Plaque)
IN MEMORY
OF

HENRY GARDINER
WHO WAS DROWNED
IN THE CAVE BELOW
IN THE ATTEMPT
TO SAVE THE LIFE OF
HIS FRIEND
J.W.HUME
10 May 1874 (sic)
BOTH SCHOOL
TEACHERS

 

(original inscription)

IN MEMORY
OF
HENRY GARDINER
WHO WAS DROWNED
IN THE CAVE BELOW
IN THE ATTEMPT
TO SAVE THE LIFE OF
HIS FRIEND
JOHN HUME 1874

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