Sir Thomas Jackson statue

Sir Thomas jackson statue, Hong Kong, public art

Public Art: Sir Thomas Jackson statue

Sculptor: © Mario Raggi (1821–1907)

Description: A bronze statue of the former chief manager of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Sir Thomas Jackson. The statue has been coated in some kind of shiny dark paint that makes it look almost plastic. Following its unveiling in 1906 many complained that the sculptor did not capture Sir Jackson's "peticular charm". Note the strange protruding floor tiles at the base of the statue, they were placed there to prevent vandalism during the 60s.

Date Unveiled: The statue of Sir Thomas Jackson was unveiled on 24th of February 1906 by the Governor Sir Matthew Nathan. The statue was originally erected facing the HSBC building.

Inscription:

In Honour of SIR THOMAS JACKSON, BART.
(1841 -1915)

And in grateful recognition of his eminent services to the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation whose destiny he guided as chief manager from 1870-1902.

Location: The statue of the banker is located in Statue Square ( which is built entirely on reclaimed land) , Central , Hong Kong.

Statue Square Trivia: The statue of Sir Thomas Jackson is the only statue that remains in Statue Square. The Square, which was built at the end of the 19th century, was originally named Royal Square but was referred to as Statue Park due to the numerous statues (mostly of British Royalty) that were erected in the park. Following the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong in World War II most of the statues, including the one of Queen Victoria, were removed and sent to Japan to be melted down. 

Despite Wikipedia claiming the statue of Sir Thomas Jackson wasn't removed from Statue Square during the Japanese occupation  of Hong Kong during World War II,  two news articles in 1946 and 1947 suggest otherwise.   In September 1946 the Queen Victoria statue was discovered in Kobe amongst the Osaka Army's arsenal by the Allied occupation authority, along with the two bullet damaged lion sculptures believed to be those that originally guarded the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank building and a statue of a bronze man in a "frock coat" which turned out to be the statue of Sir Thomas Jackson. (Taken from news articles printed in China Mail September 17th, 1946 and Hong Kong Telegraph 12th March, 1947).

Statue Square is a popular location for protests regarding social and political issues.

So Who Was Sir Thomas Jackson?

The Missing Statues of Statue Park

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in World War II  approximately 12 bronze statues were gathered up and sent back to Japan to be melted down. The only original statue remaining in Statue Park is that of Sir Thomas Jackson the others were either destroyed by the Japanese or erected in other locations.   

- The statue of Queen Victoria unveiled in 1896 and removed by the Japanese during World War II. It is was eventually returned and is now in Victoria Park.

- The statue of Prince Albert, c. 1900, never seen of again.

-The Statue of Edward VII, by George E Wade  1903

- The statue of the Duke of Connaught , which was later  moved to the waterfront at Connaught Road Central and Pedder Street in 1907 near Blake Pier.

- The statue of the Prince of Wales who later became King George V. Donated by John Bell-Irving, a director of Hongkong Electric Company and unveiled in 1907 by the Duke of Connaught.
- The statue of Queen Alexandra.
- The statue of Queen Mary. Donated by Hormusjee Naorojee Mody as "a genuine token of the loyalty and esteem of the Parsis for their King and Queen".
- The statue of Sir Henry May, 15th Governor of Hong Kong. Unveiled on May 3, 1923.
- The HSBC WWI memorial statue, "Fame". Unveiled on May 24, 1923.

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