Sunday, June 3, 2007

Thomas Joseph Ryan Sculpture

Thomas Joseph Ryan SculptureThomas Joseph Ryan was Premier of Queensland, Australia from May 1915 until October 1919. He has been immortalized with a bronze statue designed by noted Australian sculptor Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal which was unveiled in Queens Gardens in 1925. It is located diagonally in from the intersection of William Street and Elizabeth Street. The grand figure in full legal regalia stands upon a pedestal of Helidon sandstone and Enoggera granitebase with a plaque which identifies his stature in Queensland politics, and provides a remembrance of his untimely death.

Thomas Joseph Ryan SculptureRyan was born at Port Fairy in Victoria on 1 July 1876. He was educated in Victoria at South Melbourne College, Xavier College, Kew, and the University of Melbourne, graduating with legal qualifications. Moving to Queensland, he practised as a solicitor at Rockhampton and then as a barrister in Brisbane. He entered politics in October 1909 as part of the labour party, and was elected leader in 1912 from whence he became Premier at the election of May 1915. He moved from state to federal politics in October 1919. Unfortunately, during a trip to England he contracted influenza, and on his return never quite fully recovered. On 1 August 1921 he died of pneumonia.

Thomas Joseph Ryan SculptureThere are not that many of these types of sculptures in the Brisbane city area. This work effectively provides a memorial to a man who many believed could have been a likely Australian Labor Party leader, and potential Prime Minister, before his premature death. The sculpture itself is an excellent representation of who TJ Ryan may have been. The plaque notes that not only was he Premier, but also a Scholar, Jurist and Statesman. Given the piece was erected by public subscription, he must have been well respected within the community of the time.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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