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Photographs supplied by Mary Beaven

The drinking fountain, erected by public subscription, commemorates John Formby, Mayor of Port Adelaide from 1869 to 1873.  This fountain is a replica of the original fountain, unveiled in 1876, which is now in the Port Adelaide Historical Society Museum.

John Formby was prominent in Port Adelaide affairs. He was a Justice of the Peace and Mayor of Port Adelaide for four successive years. A committee decided a drinking fountain would be a suitable mark of appreciation, and a public subscription raised the money to order a fountain from Scotland which was unveiled in the presence of Mr Formby in 1876.

Portonians as a rule do not indulge in public demonstrations in favour of popular people or institutions, but when they do wish to show honour where honour is due they do it in a substantial and practical manner that does credit to their good taste and proves the sincerity of their character. Mr. John Formby, J.P., a gentleman who has for years taken a prominent part in affairs connected with tha interests of Port Adelaide, and who has been Mayor of that Municipality four sucessive years, has been treated to one of these substantial marks of public appreciation of his worth in a way that is not only pleasing to himself but beneficial to the general community.

Port Adelaide has for years only possessed one drinking fountain of any pretensions, viz., that in the centre of the Commercial-road, and therefore the Committee of gentlemen who wished to show the public appreciation of Mr. Formby's services thought it could not be better done than by erecting a fountain in a proper locality—a most useful and lasting memorial to a useful citizen. A liberal sum was raised by public subscription, and a handsome fountain ordered from Scotland, and erected on the North-parade opposite Nelson. On Saturday, May 27, the fountain was unveiled by the Mayor of Port Adelaide, Mr. J. M. Sinclair, J.P, in the presence of Mr. Formby, the Corporation, a crowd of citizens, and a large number of visitors from Adelaide.
South Australian Register (Adelaide), 29 May 1876.


Address:St Vincent & Lipson Streets, Port Adelaide Police Complex, Port Adelaide, 5015
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.844139
Long: 138.507011
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Fountain
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Approx. Event Start Date:1869
Approx. Event End Date:1873
Monument Manufacturer:McFarlane & Company (Glasgow, Scotland)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 27th May, 1876
Front Inscription

Erected by public subscription to John Formby Esq. J. P.  


1870 - 1 - 2 & 3.


Left Side Inscription

John Formby Memorial Fountain

John Formby served as Mayor of Port Adelaide between 1869 and 1873.  As a mark of appreciation, a public subscription raised money `to order a handsome fountain from Scotland`.  The original fountain was unveiled on Saturday, 27 May 1876, by Mayor John Mitchell Sinclair.  John Formby was well-regarded for his services as Mayor, his business acumen and his contribution to the local community.

John Formby was born 18 August 1819 in Liverpool, U.K. and immigrated to Port Adelaide in 1840.  He arrived in Port Adelaide, on a ship he owned, at the age of just 21.  In 1848 he married Mary Ann Hollow and fathered 13 children.  He was a prominent businessman and founded the company `John Formby and Son, Customs and Shipping Agents`, was Chairman of the Port Adelaide Football Club 1880 to 1892 and Chairman of the Marine Board 1886 to 1889.

In public matters John took a leading part, founding the `Port Adelaide Institute` and `The Sailors Home`.  John Formby died in his home on 1 October 1906 aged 87 and was buried at the nearby Alberton cemetery, (mow Pioneer Park).

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