JOHN Knowlman regarded Belmore Park as something of a child to him. As mayor he had taken it under his wing and nurtured Goulburn’s showpiece.
So it was only fitting that on May 14 1911, one year after he passed away, Enoch Ashley unveiled a monument to Knowlman in that very park, honouring his qualities and contribution to the city.
This week, 101 years to the day since his death, two descendants of the men gathered to reflect on their forebears.
Ashley’s great nephew Ray Pyke and Knowlman’s great granddaughter Kerrie Knowlman caught up at the landmark on which children have happily climbed and people have taken their rest ever since.
“It’s a special thing in the park,” Miss Knowlman said.
“We all grew up around here and it’s like part of the family. It’s nice to think that people thought so highly of him to establish this monument.”
Mr Pyke well remembers a cold day in 1956 when his family, passing through Goulburn to the snow, gathered for a photo.
“It was snowing and we all bunched in to have our photo taken at the monument Enoch unveiled,” he said.
The memorial was built of trackyte from a Bowral quarry and was inspired by the columns on Athens Parthenon, the Goulburn Evening Penny Post of May 16 1911 reported. “(It)...is of an emblematical character consisting of a Doric column with four seats around the base and four lamps on top, the report stated.
“...The column typifies uprightness, the laurel wreath of honour, the interlacing circles of the finial - eternity - and the seats, rest.
“The structure was designed by the city engineer and carried out by HE Ibbotson, contractor, Goulburn.”
The laurel wreath, which has since gone missing, carried the inscription: ‘Erected to the memory of John Knowlman Esq. JP, for many years alderman and for two years mayor of this city 1899-1900, December 1910.’
More than 2000 people attended the ceremony in the park that day, which doubled as a Goulburn hospital fundraiser. Dignitaries paid tribute to Mr Knowlman as a “true and worthy citizen of Goulburn,” “a good man, a kind husband, loving father and loyal to his church”.
“Those who knew Ald Knowlman knew this park had been something of a child to him,” the newspaper reported.
“He always took an interest in it and it was largely due to him that park was the beauty spot it now was, a credit to the city of Goulburn.”
For the full story, please see the print edition of Wednesday's Goulburn Post.
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