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Notes on the Geography of New Zealand: Dunedin 4 (Monuments)

What would a Victorian city be without monuments?

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Who could this be, perched in front of the Municipal Chambers and St. Andrews?

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It's Robert Burns, of course, shown here writing "Thou Lingering Star," an elegy to Highland Mary. If it looks familiar, that might be because it's a near copy of a statue by John Steell in New York's Central Park. This version was unveiled in 1887.

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A few blocks away there's an older monument--and a unique one. Built in 1864, it's the Cargill Monument, moved here from the center of the Octagon when it was decided to run a street through the center of the figure. (Traffic engineers haven't changed much.) The old building behind it was built in 1882 for the Bank of New Zealand.

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The monument was designed by Charles Robert Swyer, an early city engineer, but it was carved in Melbourne. The drinking fountains worked for a while.

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A bit of information, but still not very helpful in explaining why the monument was built in the first place.

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Here's the ticket: William Cargill was the "founder of this settlement and first superintendent of the province."

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A thuggish Victoria. She's been here since 1905 and is the grim work of Herbert Hampton. Yes, her nose has been badly repaired after being broken off in 1995.

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Nearby is this statue of Donald Stuart, between 1860 and 1894 the minister of the Knox or Second Presbyterian Church. He was also a chancellor of the University of Otago and a chairman of the board of governors of Otago high schools.

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Stuart was greatly admired in his lifetime: in part because in winter he did not hesitate to travel to preach in remote goldfields. Critics were not entirely happy with the sculpture, however. It had been modeled in plaster by Wellington's William Morrison and was then sent to Britain for casting. Knox, one critic wrote at the unveiling of the statue, was "conspicuous by his feet." One might defend the sculptor by saying that those same feet carried Knox to where he was needed.

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Nearby is the Dunedin Cenotaph, unveiled in 1927 by Prince Albert, later George VI.

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The lion is shocked, simply shocked.

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Here's an obelisk up on a hill overlooking the city.

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It's on the site of unmarked graves.

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Not far away is this bust of Richard Byrd; copies exist in Washington and at McMurdo Sound. The sculptor, Felix de Weldon, is better down for the Marine Corps monument of the flag raising at Iwo Jima.

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What can we find in the city's cemeteries?

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The southern one is on the flats; the northern, seen here, is well into the hills.

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The fanciest monument is this one, with its very own miniature representation of the First Presbyterian Church. It houses William Harnach, a banker, property speculator, and, as his fortune collapsed, a suicide--by pistol in the parliament buildings ata Wellington.

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A monument to Charlotte McDonald, Lizzie Grindrod and Annie McQuaid, a trio of stewardesses aboard the S.S. Wairarapa. They drowned in 1894 when the ship struck Great Barrier Island outside Auckland.

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Lots of later immigrants to Dunedin had India in their past.

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Here's the tomb of Thomas Bracken, author of God Defend New Zealand, one of the country's two national anthems.

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A few of his other verses are inscribed.

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Here's a monument to the inventor of Amsler's Planimeter, used to determine the area of any two-dimensional figure.

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A bigwig of the Southern Octopus.


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