SIR JOHN CAMPBELL
Observer, Volume XXIII, Issue 51, 5 September 1903, Page 2
SIR JOHN CAMPBELL
/ The Proposed Statue. * SO long as Maungakiekie stands, Sir John Campbell will not want a monument, and if it weie for ibis sake merely there would be no need to carry out the suggestion of the Mayor of Auckland. But there is something more in a statue than the perpetuation of the personality of the individual. It is a vehicle for the visible expression of gratitude ; it is a testimony co the virtue of those who eiect it as well as to that of the man or woman in whose honour it is rained. Since the dim dawning of history it has: been the accepted torm by which transcendent merit has been recognised, and it has been used with such a fine regard for the proprieties that in a world where the values of most things are mutable as the things themselves, the statue has kept its honourable place, and will keep it probably until the end of time.
Sir John Campbell's name and fame will, we believe, endure longer than any bronze or marble image of him that' we can . bnild, but his statue at the entrance gates to the magnificent Park which he has given/ to the people will impress upon succeeding generations the peculiar nature of his benefaction in a way that nothing else could. The example of a life like Sir John Campbell's can be nothing but inspiring to the young, and the more. closely his personaliXjt is entwined with the memorials of our early history, and with the evidences of our present day prosperity, the better it will be for those we desire to train in the best traditions of the pioneers. The donor of Cornwall Park is of a type rare, unfortunately, even amongst that sturdy band who built the foundations of tlie colony under conditions that virtually amounted to exile, uud the lessons of his life are deserving of special preservation. —• <%>■ ••• These, it seems to up, are reasons amply sufficient, if any reasons were necessary at all, to justify the erection of a statue that should embody the most splendid work of the best living artist. There is one other, however, and this ought perhaps to be mentioned in a minor key, as it were, though it is important enough in its way. Onr recognised sy-tenis of rewards and punishments in vogue, in respect, of spiritual as of secular affairs, are intended to discourage the practice of vice and to promote that of virtue. Honours of all kinds, including titles and statues, were primarily intended to foster the spirit of emulation, to raise the standard of excellence by increasing the numbers of the competitors, and, though the philosopher may talk about virtue being its own reward, just as the dilletante prates about art for art's sake, the average human being likes to get tolly when v- luis been good. ••• ••• «•■ There is room in Auckland for more statues, and boundless room for the exercise of those qualities that, by the general consent of civilised mankind, «am them. Even in Campbell (ex- Cornwall) Park itself there exist many opportunities for others to follow Sir John's example, and in other directions the prospect is illimitable. That, however, is of the future. Today, we are content to add our approval to the scheme for crystallising the universal chorus of praise in honour of Auckland's most princely benefactor.