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The fountain commemorates Thomas Playfair who was a Butcher and Ships Providore and member of Sydney City Council. It was relocated from Flemington Markets in 1968.

In 1875 Playfair was elected to the Sydney City Council for Gipps Ward which he represented unopposed until 1893. A good committeeman and vigorous reformer, he battled for a better city water supply, the demolition of slums and rookeries, and improved sanitation. He achieved the widening of George Street North and the establishment in 1882 of the Homebush sale-yards at a cost of £60,000.

As mayor in 1885 his unannounced inspections played a part in maintaining the standard of public cleanliness which he had earlier helped to impose. In March 1889 he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as a member for West Sydney and as a free trade supporter of Sir Henry Parkes. With limited ability as a public speaker, he rarely spoke in the House. He was defeated in the 1891 elections.

A ceremony of an imposing nature was performed by the Mayor of Sydney (Isaac Ellis Ives, Esq.), on Thursday afternoon last, in the form of the unveiling of a magnificent marble drinking fountain, which has been erected to the of the late Alderman Thomas Playfair. The fountain was constructed by Mr. W. P. Mclntosh, of Herefordstreet, Forest Lodge, under the supervision of the City Surveyor (R. W. Richards, Esq.). It is really a beautiful piece of work, and, best of all, everything about it is colonial make. The circular basin is of marble from Caloola Creek, near Bathurst, surmounted by an ornamental marble column, the whole being fixed upon an elaborately-worked base of trachyte stone from Bowral. The two drinking cups are silver plated, as are the taps. Around the basin is the inscription : "In memory of Alderman Thomas Playfair, 1875-93. Erected by the Municipal Council of Sydney." At the base is inscribed, "Isaac Ellis Ives, Mayor, 1896." The whole was constructed in a little over four months, and cost £71. The fountain is placed right in front of the porch of the offices. On the porch is written, "John Harris, Mayor. 1881-2-3."  
Sydney Stock and Station Journal (NSW), 2 June 1896. 


Address:Dawn Fraser Avenue, Playfair Courtyard, Building C, Sydney Olympic Park , 2127
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.847332
Long: 151.068254
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Designer:William P. Macintosh


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 28th May, 1896
Front Inscription

In memory of Alderman Thomas Playfair, 1875-93.

Erected by the Municipal Council of Sydney.

Isaac Ellis Ives, Mayor, 1896.

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