Queen Victoria bronze statue
Kimberley’s bronze monument of Queen Victoria has pride of place outside the William Humphreys Art Gallery on Jan Smuts Boulevard opposite the Oppenheimer Gardens. Resplendent on her State chair, and clad in her state robes, Queen Victoria holds a sceptre in one hand and orb in the other. It is one of three monuments cast by Mr Raggis from the same mould – the other two are in Hong Kong and Toronto – the height of the statue is nine feet and six inches.
At a meeting on 28 February 1902 it was decided to raise funds and erect a statue memorializing the Queen and a committee was formed. This committee, which included such local dignitaries as D.W. Greatbatch, Charles Nind, John Orr, William Pickering, J.D. Tyson, H.A. Oliver, Gustav Bonas, Colonel Sir David Harris, and Fergus Carstairs Rogers, decided that the finished product would grace the entrance to the Kimberley Public Gardens, (now Regiment Way), at a point just beyond the Drill Hall opposite the Belgravia tennis courts. The entrance road to the Gardens was widened to allow reasonable access to pedestrians from both sides of approach.
M. Raggis of Regent’s Park, London designed the statue, and the founders were Messrs Singer and Company of Frome, Somersetshire, England. Greatbatch designed the base and the local constructors employed were Church and McLauchlin. The Union Castle line shipped the statue free of charge to Cape Town and the railways did likewise in transporting it to Kimberley. De Beers Company donated the basalt stone for the pedestal, while the cut stone came from Steenpan in the Free State. The entire cost came to £1500, of which £1050 was collected in Kimberley through public subscription
It was unveiled on 18 May 1906 by Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson, after a process lasting just over four years. The statue was moved its current position at the William Humphreys Art Gallery in 1959, and shortly thereafter, Regiment Way was constructed as part of the new road to Boshof.
(Text courtesy of "Kimberley calls...And recalls")