Old Newspaper StoriesPhoto Du JourWindsor

South African Memorial Fountain

Today begins a multi part look at one of Windsor’s more overlooked and most important peices of sculptural work.

From The Evening Record – March 26, 1904

MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN

Work of Erection to be Pushed To Completion

The committee in charge of the South African memorial fountain have received proposals for the execution of the work, and after the same have been formally approved of by the Minister of Public Works the project will be pushed to completion.
The design published by The Record, from the drawings of Architects John Scott & Co., contemplates the remodeling and improving of the entire ground in front of the federal building, providing a broad and easy approach to the post office as a part of the plan.

The material selected is a light buff stone that will harmonize with that of the building, and the specifications provide for the repaving of the ground out to the street, lines the rectangular space occupied by the memorial being defined by massive barrier posts of granite. The fountain proper will be placed over the tiled paved exedra, which is flanked on either side by benches wrought in stone. The central feature of the memorial will be the large tablet over the fountain executed in bronze in heavy relief depicting a battle scene typical of the South African Warfare. Approximate inscriptions and legends will be placed on the memorial describing its history and purport.

An effective scheme of lighting the memorial is provided for by ornamental bronze lamp standards placed near the angles of the platforms at the east and west ends and by brilliant holapane globes on top of the stone columns on each side of the fountain,

HOW THE IDEA ORIGINATED

The idea of erecting a memorial to the Windsor boys who lost their lives in South Africa originated with their comrades-in-arms. The intention at first was to erect a monument but it was later decided that a fountain would be more useful and fitting. The veterans’ mothers’ committee set diligently to work and succeeded in raising considerable money to be devoted to the cause. When it was finally decided to erect the fountain a subscription list was circulated and about $1,700 subscribed, $800 or $900 of which has been paid in. As will be seen by the accompanying out and description the fountain will be an elaborate one and it will be necessary to raise about $300 or $400 more. The city council was interested in the project and voted $300 towards the fountain, and when it was suggested to build it at the federal building, the government took an interest in the scheme and also gave assistance. The propriety of using Canadian materials in its construction was broached but it has been found that Canadian stone is unsuited for the purpose and it is more than probable that Bedford stone, which is procured in Indiana will be used. This stone is very fine and takes a polish like a marble. It is proposed to have the fountain completed by Civic holiday which it will probably be formally dedicated.

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