Robert Burns Monument
Perhaps the oldest literary landmark in British Columbia is the uncredited bronze and stone statue unveiled in Beacon Hill Park in November of 1900 in honour of Robbie Burns. Scotsmen of Victoria had initiated a fundraising campaign for a $2,000 memorial statue and fountain in 1897. The result depicts the author of Auld Lang Syne reciting his poem ‘Highland Mary’ to a Scottish lass. On each side of the statue there is a line from the poem. Among Burn’s other best-known poems and songs are Scots Wha Hae, often considered the unofficial national anthem of Scotland as well as A Man’s A Man for A’ That, To a Louse and To a Mouse. Burns was born on January 25, 1759 and died on July 21, 1796.
On November 10, 1900, the Burns Monument was unveiled. The subscribers of the “monument erected to the memory of Robert Burns” presented a Resolution dated November 9, 1900, transferring the monument to the City. The Resolution stipulated that the City must “forever maintain and keep the same as a Monument and Fountain for the benefit of inhabitants of Victoria.” Mayor Hayward acknowledged the gift and read out the conditions. He said, however, that “municipal law forbade anticipating the future or placing burdens on those coming after us.” He assured the group that “authorities would always be pleased to preserve this loving tribute...” (Colonist, November 11, 1900)