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Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens

The Flowers Memorial Aquarium commemorates former Labour Politician, Fred Flowers (1864 - 1928), who encouraged the building of Taronga Park Zoo.

In October 1910 the Labor Party formed its first government in New South Wales. In the McGowen ministry (1910-13) Flowers was appointed vice-president of the Executive Council and representative of the government in the Legislative Council until 1915. In 1911-12 he had short terms as chief secretary, minister for public instruction and secretary for lands. In the Holman Labor ministry (1913-16) Flowers acted as colonial secretary from June 1913 to April 1914, and became the State`s first minister of public health, from April 1914 to April 1915—he had been one of the originators of the Labor Party`s health policy in 1897 when it sought the nationalization of medicine.

Flowers encouraged the building of a new zoological gardens at Taronga Park, on Bradleys Head, and became chairman of the controlling trust next year. In 1915-16 he arranged the transfer of animals and birds from their inadequate location in Moore Park to their new harbour site. The zoo became known internationally.

A tablet commemorative of the services rendered by the late Mr. Fred Flowers, M.L.C., in his capacity as the first chairman of the Taronga Park Trust, was unveiled at the entrance to the aquarium yesterday afternoon by the Minister for Labour and Industry (Mr. Farrar). Despite bad weather, there was a large company, including Mrs. Flowers, Colonel Spain, chairman of the trust, Messrs. F. B. Colquhoun (deputy chairman), A. F. Basset-Hull, Aubrey Halloran, and Dr. Todd (trustees), and Ald. Buckle (Mayor of Mosman). Mr. Farrar said that Mr. Flowers was a great man, a great citizen, and a great sportsman, whose name would always be associated with the history of Taronga Park.

Few people realised how much the public owed to Mr. Flowers, who never let a day pass without visiting the place, and who took the most active initiative and share in everything that was done, with the result that Taronga Park, mainly his creation, stood out, not merely as a great factor in the amusement of the community, but as a factor in the education of the people, particularly the children. Mr Farrar concluded by mentioning that the extensive scheme of works which had gone towards the making of Taronga Park what it was had been the means of taking 300 men out of the ranks of the unemployed, and so training them that many were now profitably engaged in the building trade.
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 12 September 1929.


Address:Bradleys Head Road, Taronga Park Zoo, Flowers Memorial Aquarium, Mosman, 2088
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.842286
Long: 151.243535
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - State


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 11th September, 1929
Front Inscription

Plaque : 

Flowers Memorial Aquarium

Opened 19th July 1927

This tablet is erected to commemorate the untiring efforts in the interests of Taronga Park of the late Hon. Fred Flowers M. L. C. Chairman Taronga Zoological Park Trust

1912 - 1928

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