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Photographs supplied by Mary Beaven

The sculpture commemorates Colonel William Light, founder of the city of Adelaide. It was originally in Victoria Square and shifted in 1938 to Montefiore Lookout, and was renamed 'Light`s Vision'  at the suggestion of the Pioneers` Association. 

On the back of the pedestal is a wreath relating to the 1917 Town Planning Conference in Adelaide as well a plaque which was unveiled in 1967 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the conference. 

Colonel William Light (1786 – 1839) was a British military officer and the first Surveyor-General of the Colony of South Australia. Light was the Colony`s first Surveyor-General and was given sole responsibility for selecting the site of Adelaide and preparing the City Plan in 1836-37, for which he has been much praised. He also designed the layout of main roads and subdivision into `sections` of much of the present metropolitan area.

Legend has it that William Light stood on Montefiore Hill (in North Adelaide) in 1837, pointed at what would one day become the Adelaide city centre, and began planning the city.

A plaque was added to the pedestal bearing an extract from Light`s Brief Journal. In his journal Light wrote, `The reasons that led me to fix Adelaide where it is I do not expect to be generally understood or calmly judged of at present … I leave it to posterity … to decide whether I am entitled to praise or to blame`.

In the presence of a huge crowd, which overflowed into Fiinders Street on the one side and into Franklin Street on the other, the statue of Colonel Light, situated near the Post-office corner, King William Sreet, was unveiled by his Excellency the Governor on Tuesday morning. The occasion was one of singular interest, and led to the foregathering of a large number of who honor to the memory of the distinguished founder of the city.

Sir S. J. Way said Adelaide was now possession of a statue of its founder, which those present who knew him in the flesh could testify was a lifelike presentment of the man, and it was equally successful as a work of art. He thought they ought to carry a vote of thanks to the Mayor and, members of the committee for the good work they had done. The suggestion was given effect to with cheers. At the instance of the Governor, cheers were given for the King, the sculptor (Mr. Birnie Rhind), and the Mayor, and at their suggestion of the Chief Justice cheers were given for the Governor.  His Excellency returned thanks and asked for a half-holiday for the boys who had formed the guard of honor.
Chronicle (Adelaide), 1 December 1906.




Address:Montefiore Road, Montefiore Lookout, North Adelaide, 5000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.912806
Long: 138.594014
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Artist:William Birnie Rhind


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 27th November, 1906
Front Inscription



Colonel William Light

First Surveyor General

Fixed the site and laid out the City of Adelaide

Erected by citizens



Back Inscription


A wreath from the 1917 first Australian Town-Planning Conference  


1917  1967
To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the first Australian Town Planning Conference

This plaque was affixed by the Australian Planning Institute on the occasion of the Town Planning Jubilee Conference
August, 1967


Extracts from Colonel Light's Journal, 1839

"The reasons that led me to fix Adelaide where it is I do not expect to be generally understood or calmly judged of at present. My enemies, however, by disputing their validity in every particular, have done me the good service of fixing the whole of the responsibility upon me. I am perfectly willing to bear it; and leave to posterity, and not to them, to decide whether I am entitled to praise or blame." 


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