A statue unveiling will take place today linking forever one of Australia’s key historic figures with the City of Parramatta. A bronze statue of former NSW Premier and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW Sir James Martin will be unveiled at 10 am in Smith Street, celebrating his connection to Sydney’s ‘Central City’.
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said he is thrilled with the donation of the statue by a not-for-profit philanthropic body, the Lysicrates Foundation. “An important acknowledgement can be made…honouring the achievements of a great ‘local boy’ and bringing to light a little-known Parramatta story, reflecting the important role of Parramatta in the nation’s history,” the Lord Mayor said.
It’s claimed that as a schoolboy Sir James Martin walked from Parramatta, the location of his childhood home, to Sydney every day to attend school. His passion and thirst for learning set him on the path to a professional life as a journalist, barrister and politician, as well as helping to create a nation.
His significant achievements and contributions to both NSW and Australia’s early colonial history are well documented and acknowledged, with Martin Place in Sydney bearing his name. However, very little has been done to recognise his earlier connection to Parramatta.
Cr Wilson said the statue, by artist Alan Somerville, would go a long way to publically establishing the vital historic link. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lysicrates Foundation and founders John and Patricia Azarias for this generous donation and look forward to this wonderful tribute taking its rightful and proud place in this city, Sir James Martin’s childhood home,” the Lord Mayor said.
Foundation spokesperson Patricia Azarias said “We were inspired by the story of a young man overcoming prejudice and poverty to rise to the highest legal office in the land. “We hope this statue will serve to inspire all children to believe that they too can achieve great things.” The statue will be located temporarily in Smith Street near the Western Sydney University campus at Parramatta Square, before a permanent site in the Parramatta CBD is located.