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HH Skinner Memorial
HH Skinner Memorial

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson

The statue commemorates Henry Hawkins Skinner, (1851 - 1912), who was a caterer, sportsman and politician.

Skinner built up a catering empire based, at first, on the supply of liquor to sporting events; eventually he acquired a monopoly of the Melbourne trade and came to be regarded as the outstanding caterer in Australia.

He obtained considerable influence in sporting circles through the increased custom secured by his catering skills; in his home territory of South Melbourne he was the `Boss` whose prestige derived from his role as patron of local sports clubs. In 1910 Melbourne Punch declared that Skinner `loves to be worshipped, and all South Melbourne worships him`.

He was an energetic and highly successful president of the South Melbourne Football (1904-11) and South Melbourne Cricket clubs (1906-12). During his presidency both greatly increased their membership and the football club won its first Victorian Football League premiership (1909).

In the presence of 1000 people this afternoon Cr J. Baragwanath, Mayor of South Melbourne, unveiled the statue erected by the citizens to the memory of the late Mr H. H. Skinner, M.L.C. The memorial has been erected in the centre of the municipal reserve at the intersection of Clarendon street, Bridport street, and Albert road, adjacent to the entrance of the South Melbourne cricket ground. It consists of a bronze statue slightly over life size, standing on a red and grey granite base with chiselled margins and polished moulds. Two wide steps are set below the base. The total height of the statue above the footpath is 16ft. A bronze panel bears the inscription:— The Hon. H. H. Skinner, M.L.C . President of the South Melbourne Football Club and South Melbourne Cricket Club. A tribute from the citizens and sporting clubs.  Unveiled by the Mayor of South Melbourne (Cr J. Barnagwanath, J.P.) 26/7/13.

In performing the ceremony, the Mayor referred to the prominent position which the late Mr. Skinner had always occupied in the public affairs of South Melbourne, and the great interest he had taken in the sport of the district, particularly as president of the South Melbourne Cricket Club and the South Melbourne Football Club.  The statue had been erected by the citizens and members of sporting clubs to honor the memory of a man who had shown such an unselfish interest in the district in which he had lived. Mr George Elmslie, M.L.A., supplemented the mayor's remarks. The late Mr Skinner, he said, was a man whom one had to be closely associated with to know his worth. He had had a wonderfully attractive personality and had proved himself to be a great leader of men. The memorial was a fitting tribute to a gentleman who had devoted so much of his life to forwarding the interests of South Melbourne.
Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), Saturday 26 July 1913.

Note: The date on the inscription on the statue is 27 July 1913. The statue was unveiled on the 26 July 1913 which is the date noted in articles on the original unveiling. 


Address:Albert Road & Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, 3205
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.838672
Long: 144.963457
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Statue
Monument Theme:People
Designer:Butler & Bradshaw (architects - pedestal)
Artist:James White


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 26th July, 1913
Front Inscription

To the memory of Hon H. H. Skinner, M.L.C.  

President of the South Melbourne Cricket Club, 1906 - 1912.

And of the South Melbourne Football Club 1904 - 1911.

Erected by the citizens of the sporting clubs of South Melbourne.

Unveiled by the Mayor of South Melbourne, Cr J. Baragwanath JP

27 - 7 - 1913

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