University to re-enact 1906 statue unveiling

Unveiling the Sir Walter Watson Hughes statue in 1906

Unveiling the Sir Walter Watson Hughes statue in 1906
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Tuesday, 21 November 2006

The University of Adelaide tomorrow is re-enacting the 1906 ceremony to unveil the statue of the University's founding benefactor, Sir Walter Watson Hughes.

Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Governor of South Australia, and two descendants of Sir Walter - brothers Mr Walter Hughes Duncan and Mr Jock Duncan - will unveil the Sir Walter Watson Hughes statue at 3pm on Wednesday, November 22, in an echo of that earlier ceremony.

Sir Walter's gift of £20,000 in 1872 led to the foundation of the University of Adelaide in 1874, giving South Australia the nation's third university.

During the re-enactment, three members of the Police Historical Society in period costume and the Band of the South Australia Police brass quintet will lead a procession from the Mitchell Building to the statue on North Terrace consisting of the Governor, the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Adelaide Michael Harbison, Commissioner of Police Mal Hyde, the University Chancellor the Hon John von Doussa QC, University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha, and members of the University community. Victoriana Society of SA members in costume will also take part.

University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha said: "Sir Walter's gift of £20,000 was a staggering amount for those times. The centenary celebration of the statue unveiling commemorates his generosity and vision that has had a major influence on the lives of so many people.

"For over 130 years, the University of Adelaide has been at the heart of South Australian life, shaping education, research, culture, politics and economics. With 100,000 graduates to date, 100 Rhodes Scholars and five Nobel Laureates - three of them our own graduates - I think Sir Walter would have been extremely proud of what his gift started."


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