Statue Of Thomas Ryan

 

Popularly known as T.J. Ryan, Queensland's 19th Premier

Thomas Joseph Ryan, who had been in the office from June 1, 1915 to October 22, 1919, was an intellectual prowess and considered as a

prolific lawmaker during his time, and turning his term into an era of industrial legislation and state enterprise, having passed various measures such as workers' compensation act, labor exchanges act and factories and shops amendment act among others.

 

Educated in the University of Melbourne where he received his Bachelor

of Laws, he paved his way to become one of Queensland's well-known politicians, having retained his seat as a Labor member for the Queensland Legislative Assembly for ten years then eventually becoming elected as the leader of the Labor party in 1912. In 1915, Ryan became the Premier, chief secretary and attorney-general. He resigned his post

as Premier after deciding to enter Federal politics and was elected in the House of the Representatives.

 

statue of thomas ryan

Ryan’s pneumonia-induced, unexpected death in August 21, 1921 has caused much grief from both his friends and critics alike. He had just turned

45 then. In 1925, a sculpture was erected and unveiled in his honor.  It stands triumphantly, intersecting William Street and Elizabeth Street.

The Queens Gardens, where the statue is located, faced constant embellishment from 1905 to 1962, an important landmark in Brisbane as it

showcases Queensland's history. A square-shaped park, it is bounded by the streets of William, Elizabeth and George on the southwestern,

northwestern and northeastern sides. Among the establishments that are located in Queens Gardens' territory are the Treasure Building, the

Family Services Building and the former State Library.

The statues of Queen Victoria and Thomas James Ryan in Queens Gardens are considered as demonstrations of their historic and governmental association in the state. The architecture and artifacts in the gardens have been showcased as evidences of European settlement in the land, thanks

to the vision of landscape architect Harry Oakman.

The statue was made by Australian sculptor Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, who was also responsible for the panels on the facade of Melbourne

Parliament House and the sculptures “For she Sitteth on a Seat in the High Places of the City" and "Diana Wounded." He also designed and produced

the medals for the 1908 Olympic Games in London as well as the coronation medal, postage stamps and military honors for King George V. He was also the first Australian artist to be knighted in 1921.

As reflected to other Mackennal's work, his Statue of Thomas Ryan is a marvelous work of bronze and granite, standing firmly on a sandstone base.

The sculpture doesn't focus solely on his position as a Premier of the state, as exemplified on the metal plaque that acknowledges his being a

"Scholar - Jurist - Statesman."