16

The famous Scottish bard, Robert (Rabbie) Burns, never set foot in Australia and never once mentioned Australia in any of his work.

15Despite this there are eight statues of Burns in Australia. There are two in England – if that says anything! In fact, a statue of Burns in Camperdown, Victoria, is thought to be the oldest existing statue of him anywhere in the world.

After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Robert Burns has more statues (around 160) dedicated to him around the world than any other non-religious figure – somewhat of a feat for a 18th century poet and a tribute to Scots around the world who hold him in such high esteem.

As I have written on my review of Burns’ statue in Adelaide … Burns ‘….was more than a poet, he was a man of the people and lover of all humanity whose powerful and meaningful commentary on the human condition has assured his place in the hearts and culture of Scotland for eternity’.

While Burns wrote much in his short life (he died aged 37) he is, and will always be, best remembered for his famous ballad, For Auld Lang Syne, sung around the world, especially at New Year’s:

Chorus
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

The anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth, 25th January, 1759, which was originally a gathering of a few of his friends to mourn his passing, is now remembered throughout the world as Burns Night when the haggis (“the chieftain’ o’ the puddin’ race”, yes he wrote a poem about a haggis too!) is eaten, whisky is drunk and his poems are read amongst friends.

14

This statue of Burns, is a 2.9-metre bronze by Frederick Pomeroy depicting him resting against a plowshare wearing his Kilmarnock bonnet, rig and stockings. It is modeled on a similar statue in Paisley, Scotland and was unveiled on 30 January 1905 before a crowd of 15,000 which had ‘mustered to do honour to the poet’s memory’ before being drenched by a Sydney thunderstorm which resulted in most of the speechifying being postponed to a Town Hall concert held later in the evening.

Rather than being inscribed with scenes from Burns’ poems or citations of his poetry like others of his statues in Australia this one is simply inscribed –

‘BURNS 1759 – 1796’

My Reader having a particular interest in Burns may want to have a look at my review on Burns’ statue in Canberra, in addition to the one in Adelaide referred to above.

Sorry about the poor quality of my pictures attached to this review which had to be taken into the sun.

Address: Art Gallery Road, Domain
Directions: In the vicinity of the Art Gallery of New South Wales


This is my last Sydney – City – BOTANIC GARDENS – DOMAIN review.
For other Sydney reviews click HERE.


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