Story: Memorials and monuments

Savage memorial, Auckland (6th of 7)

Savage memorial, Auckland

Like Richard Seddon and William Massey, Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage died in office (in March 1940). Like Massey, Savage was buried in a gun bunker originally built for the 1885 Russian scare. It was decided to erect a memorial above his grave at Bastion Point, Auckland. A competition was held and was won by two Auckland architects, Tibor Donner and Anthony Bartlett. The design had a garden, a reflecting pool and the statue of a worker. The pool and garden were built, but the worker was seen as too divisive a symbol. Instead, sculptor Richard Gross provided a design for a tall obelisk. On the side facing the pool was a figure symbolic of love and justice, while facing the sea was a portrait of Savage surrounded by flowers. Above were the words 'He loved his fellow men', and, below, 'There is no fame to rise above the crowning honour of a people's love.'

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Memorials and monuments - Civilian memorials, 1900–1945', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/32556/savage-memorial-auckland (accessed 22 October 2020)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 26 Mar 2015