Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/337

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323
NOTABLE IRISH-AUSTRALIANS.

kind, but he was remarkably conscientious in endeavouring to do justice to all. Whatever he considered right, he carried into effect boldly and fearlessly, disregarding equally threats and flattery. He was so much beloved, indeed, and his character for the conscientious discharge of his duty is still held in such veneration, that I have seen tears come to the eyes of many of the people in that country whenever his name was mentioned. They collected several thousand pounds for a monument to him, which was on the eve of being erected when I left Sydney, and he will be the first governor to whom that honour has been paid. He returned home by way of Chili, on the west coast of South America, and his fame had gone before him, as, when he landed in Valparaiso, the authorities there turned out to pay him every respect in their power."

The monument here referred to assumed the form of a splendid statue, erected in the Sydney Domain, and bearing an inscription which is an apt summary of the good work achieved by this great Irish-Australian governor: "This statue of Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Bourke, K.C.B., is erected by the people of New South Wales, to record his able, honest, and benevolent administration from 1831 to 1837. Selected for the government at a period of singular difficulty, his judgment, urbanity, and firmness justified the choice. Comprehending at once the vast resources peculiar to this colony, he applied them for the first time systematically to its benefit. He voluntarily divested himself of the prodigious influence arising from the assignment of penal labour, and enacted just and salutary laws for the amelioration of penal discipline. He was the first governor who published satisfactory accounts of the public receipts and expenditure. Without oppression or detriment to any