Thomas Joseph Ryan Statue

Thomas Joseph Ryan Statue, Brisbane, Australia

Public Art : Thomas Joseph Ryan Statue

Sculptor : © Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal

Date : 1925

Description : A bronze statue of (as large as life) Thomas Joseph Ryan, in his judicial robes and wig. His right hand is extended out, whilst his left hand clutches his robe which is slightly open to reveil a tailored suit. The pedestal on which Ryan stands is made of Helidon sandstone and Enoggera granite (just in case you we interested).

Location : Queens Garden, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Inscription :

Thomas Joseph Ryan
Premier of Queensland, 1915-19
The life that ceased in mid-career
The light of other men shall be.
With purpose high and conscience clear
Who'll seek to serve the State as he.

So who was Thomas Joseph Ryan ? : Thomas Joseph Ryan (1 July 1876 – 1 August 1921) , T.J. to his friends, was Premier of Queensland from 1915 to 1919. T.J. was born in Victoria and following his graduation from the University of Melbourne, took up teaching (mainly in Tasmania). In 1901 he was admitted to the Queensland bar and swapped his chalk for a wig. He practised as a solicitor and then barrister in Brisbane, before trying his luck in politics.
In 1909 he was elected as a Labor member in the Queensland Legislative Assembley (which he retained for 10 years) and in 1912 he was elected leader of the Labour Party. In the 1915 State elections, T.J. found himself, not only Premier of Queensland, but chief secretary, and attorney-general to boot. He was a popular and fair Premier who didn't mind taking risks with new and enterprising ideas. He was also instrumental in leading the fight against conscription.
Soon after entering Federal politics T.J. was struck down with a bad case of pneumonia, from which he never recovered. Dead at 45, the State could only ponder what he would have achieved.

Trivia : The Federal electoral division of Ryan (in Queensland) is named after T.J. Ryan.

Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal (the sculptor) was the first Australian artist to be knighted.

Works of Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal :

William John Clarke Monument, Melbourne  Thomas Joseph Ryan Statue, Brisbane, Australia Shakespeare Memorial, Sydney, Australia

     William John Clarke            Thomas Joseph Ryan       Shakespeare Memorial

King Edward VII statue, Melbourne, Australia  Cenotaph, Sydney, Australia

     King Edward VII                Cenotaph


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