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Dr Arnold Cook Print Page Print this page

23-April-2019
23-April-2019

Photographs supplied by Glenn Day

The bronze statue commemorates Dr Arnold Cook who introduced the Guide Dog movement in Australia.  The statue depicts Dr. Cook with his dog Dreena who was the first guide dog in Australia.

Arnold Cook was born in Western Australia and had normal vision but was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and was completely blind by the age of 18. Arnold did not let this disabilty interfere with his life and he received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Economics. He received a scholarship to further his studies in London but further funds were needed to allow his new wife to accompany him so she would be able to read texts for him. A Guide Dog could provide the mobility and independence that Arnold dreamed of, so Arnold contacted the British Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

His original pairing with a german Shepherd was not a success. He was eventually paired with a black labrador named Dreena. After he returned to Australia with Dreena he founded the Guide Dog movement. Arnold is remembered as a man of many achievements, a senior lecturer in Economics, the foundation president of the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation of Western Australia, an active committee member of the Association for the Blind of Western Australia and the patron of the Western Australian Guild of Blind Citizens, where he was foundation president, and the founder of the Guide Dog Movement in Australia.

Location

Address:Jorang Grove, Kings Park & Botanic Garden , Kings Park , 6005
State:WA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.953208
Long: 115.840192
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Humanitarian
Artist:Greg James

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 4th December, 1989
Front Inscription

Dr Arnold Cook  1922 - 1981

Dr. Arnold Cook who became totally blind at the age of eighteen pioneered the famous guidedog movement in Australia.  Indeed in the whole Southern Hemisphere.  These remarkable dogs provide their blind owners with a much-valued means of independent travel.  Thanks to Arnold Cook the first training centre was established in this State althought it was later moved to Melbourne.

Dr. Cook was a senior lecturer in Economics at the University of W.A. but he found time to promote the interests of his fellow blind people in education, business and the professions.  He founded and developed the W. A. Guild of Blind Citizens whose motto is "New horizons for the blind"  which it pursues through its provision of a range of personal services to blind individuals and by acting as a " watchdog" wherever the interests of the blind are involved.

Shortly before his death in 1981, Dr. Cook founded another organization concerned with the blind.  A research foundation for the eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa.  All Arnold`s initiatives in blind welfare were crowned with success.

This sculpture was erected on behalf of all West Australians by the W. A. Guild of Blind Citizens.

The site was dedicated in the 15th October 1986 by His Excellency Professor Gordon Reid A.C. Governor of Western Australia.

The sculpture was unveiled by Mrs. Ruth Reid on 4th December 1989

Sculptor Greg James

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