25th Anniversary of the Gould League of Bird LoversPrint Page Print this page

The tablet in the school grounds commemorates the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Gould League of Bird Lovers in New South Wales which was founded by Edward Webster and Walter Finigan in 1910.  The plaque is affixed to an elm tree in the school grounds under which the first meeting was held. A birdbath donated by foundation members of the League was placed in the school grounds facing Arthur Street. 
Edward Webster was a schoolteacher and Walter Finigan was his deputy and they followed the idea of a Victorian schoolteacher who set up a Gould League of Bird Lovers in honour of John Gould in 1909 which encouraged school children to participate.

On 22 October 1910, Webster and Finigan called a meeting at Wellington and established the Gould League of Bird Lovers in New South Wales. The chief inspector James Dawson ensured that the school system supported it. Children contributed a penny for a certificate and pledged to protect birds, mainly by not collecting their eggs. The movement spread to all States; New South Wales, however, with 10,000 members by 1917 and over 130,000 by the 1930s, had the largest membership.

On Tuesday afternoon next, at 3.30, there will be a celebration at the Wellington primary school of the jubilee of the New South Wales Gould League of Bird Lovers. The Gould League was founded in Wellington on the 22nd October, 1910, there being twenty-three foundation members, some of whom are still in the town and district. At the celebration on Tuesday a memorial tablet will be affixed to the elm tree under which the first meeting was held twenty-five years ago, and it is the wish of the head master, Mr. Thompson, and the staff that as many of the foundation members as possible should be present at the jubilee to take part in the celebrations.

Recently Mr. Webster a son of the Mr. Webster who, with Mr. Finnigan (sic), was the instigator of  the Gould League, was in Wellington, and during a visit to the school showed keen interest in the forthcoming jubilee celebrations. In view of the near approach of the annual examinations, the celebrations will not take on a public character, but foundation members are invited to be present.
Wellington Times (NSW), 17 October & 24th October 1935.


Address:Percy Street, Wellington Public School grounds, Wellington, 2820
GPS Coordinates:Lat: 32.556531
Long: 148.944532
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Actual Event Start Date:22-October-1910
Actual Event End Date:22-October-1935


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 22nd October, 1935
Front Inscription
The Gould League of Bird Lovers
of N.S.W. founded here,
22nd October 1910,
E.Webster and W. Finigan. 
Source: H,MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au