Robert Burns Memorial

Robert Burns Memorial, Treasury Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

Public Art : Robert Burns Memorial

Sculptor: © George Anderson Lawson

Date: Completed in 1903 and unveiled January 23rd 1904.

Cast: In London

Description: A 2.7m replica bronze, larger than life, statue of Robert Burns depicted wearing tails and breeches and with arms folded, standing on a Harcourt granite pedestal. Embedded in the granite pedestal are reliefs of various farming and agricultural scenes, symbolising the contribution Scottish migrants made to early settlement of Melbourne.

Location: In Treasury Gardens, Melbourne, Australia. Originally it was located on the west side of St Kilda Road, but due to road changes, was moved to its present location in 1970.

Cost: £1,000 (statue) £400 (pedestal), with rumours every Scot in Melbourne contributed.

Commissioned and Funded by: Caledonian Society and the Scottish Community of Melbourne.

under the auspices
of the
Caledonian Society
Melbourne 1904

History of the Robert Burns Statue: The bronze statue of Robert Burns is a replica of sculptor, Lawson's most famous work, which is located in Burns hometown, Ayr, Scotland. The statue was unveiled by Lieutenant Governor Sir John Madden in January 1904 at Princes Bridge on St Kilda Road before a crowd of 5,000. Burns was later moved to the Treasury Gardens under the shade of trees in 1970.

Background of Robert Burns: Robert Burns will probably be best remember for his poem Auld Lang Syne, which we sing to bring in each new year. Burns was born Robert Burness ,in a wee village in Scotland called Alloway. The eldest of seven children he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, in fact Burns grew up in abject poverty.  However being poor and the son of a peasant farmer did not deny a young Burns of an education. His father taught the children the basic reading, writing and arithmatic before hiring a local teacher to tutor the intentive and smart young pupil. Though Burns grew up to be a successful poet and lyricist, he poured his money back into farming, despite his continued failures. A proud Scots, he spent a good deal of time adapting and revising old Scottish folks songs, which otherwise would have disappeared over time (Auld Lang Syne was one of them). It was his use of a light Scots dialect which endeared him to his fellow countrymen and beyond. Unfortunately for Burns, poverty would follow him throughout his life, as too would his often scandalous love life. Following his death at the age of 37 from bacterial endocarditis (rheumatic fever) he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. Burns died in poverty and a memorial edition of his poems was published to raise money for his wife and children.

The poet was also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply "The Bard".

Other Robert Burns Statues and Memorials :

Robert Burns, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 




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