Sunday, 12 January 2020

A Curious Monument

One of the best walks in Wellington takes you around the beautiful Botanic Gardens (which can be reached in minutes from the city centre by a steeply climbing 'cable car' – actually a funicular railway) and downhill back into the city through the wonderfully scenic Bolton Street Memorial Park, the oldest cemetery in Wellington. Here is to be found, among much else, the monument shown above. 
This curious essay in a late classical revival style, feebly carved and with undertones of homoeroticism and fascism, commemorates, of all people, Henry Edmund 'Harry' Holland, the second leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, who died in 1933. Presumably it's intended to represent Holland's endeavours to 'free the world from unhappiness, tyranny and oppression', but I don't think it can be accounted a success.
 I have never seen Ramsay MacDonald's grave, but I very much doubt that it bears much resemblance to the Henry Holland extravaganza.

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