CAPTAIN Matthew Flinders is once again on his way to local shores – this time cast in bronze.
A statue of the navigator, donated by the Lang Foundation, will be installed in a new Matthew Flinders precinct outside the Nautilus Arts Centre along Tasman Terrace.
The 800-kilogram statue is expected to arrive in South Australia in December ready for installation in Port Lincoln in February – 215 years to the day since HMS Investigator sailed into Boston Bay and Flinders named Port Lincoln after his homeland of Lincolnshire.
Port Lincoln City Council this week approved a concept design for the precinct, including a refurbishment of the nearby Flinders Archway and gate.
The council has budgeted about $29,000 to upgrade the area including the statue base, a bench, landscaping and paving in the shape of a compass.
The statue depicts Flinders kneeling over a map of Australia and will be the third installation of the casting by UK artist Mark Richards.
The first was donated by the South Australian Government to Great Britain and the second was commissioned by Flinders University and placed in the Tonsley Innovation District.
The statue plinth will include a Quick Response (QR) Code, to enable smartphone users to connect to a website for more detail on the statue’s development and biographical information on Captain Matthew Flinders.
The Lang Foundation has offered to fly the mayor of the City of Lincoln to Port Lincoln for the unveiling and the South Australian Governor and Premier have also been invited.
Landscaping and refurbishment will start soon and the first priorities will be the statue base and replacing the laneway gate behind the Flinders Arch that was damaged in recent bad weather.
The council’s chief executive Rob Donaldson said the council would focus on the “critical elements” first to ensure they were ready for the February unveiling.
“The not so critical elements could end up not being developed in the initial time frame either because of cost or practicality of time (but) if we can possibly get it done we will.”
Councillor Linda Davies suggested the next piece of public art in the area could incorporate an aspect of Port Lincoln’s Aboriginal history.
“I was hoping to see something in that vicinity of our Aboriginal history because that would bring us all in together.”