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Fleischer Commemorative Fountain
Queen’s Park, East London, Eastern Cape

Date:post 1902
Type:Fountain
Status:Extant

 


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Coordinates:
33°01'05.15" S 27°53'51.79" E Alt: 33m

In the grounds of the Queen's Park in East London is a fine cast iron fountain. Placed within a large raised circular pond the fountain forms a historic landmark in that portion of the Queen's Park grounds which was occupied by the East London Zoo in the 1930's.

The fountain was donated to the City of East London by William Martin Fleischer and this is recorded on a commemorative granite plaque:

THIS FOUNTAIN WAS DONATED TO THE CITY OF EAST LONDON
BY WILLIAM MARTIN FLEISCHER, I. S. O.
MAGISTRATE OF EAST LONDON FROM 1880 TO 1894.

HIERDIE FONTEIN IS AAN DIE STAD OOS-LONDEN GESKENK
DEUR WILLIAM MARTIN FLEISCHER, I. S. O.
LANDROS VAN OOS-LONDEN VANAF 1880 TOT 1894.

Fleischer was born on 17 October 1840 and had a long and varied career in the Civil Service of the Cape Colony. He commenced his service as a Clerk to the Resident Magistrate in Queenstown in 1861 and was subsequently employed in Steynsburg, Cradock, Stutterheim, Victoria East, and in 1879 was Civil Commissioner and Resident Magistrate in Wodehouse. Two years later he was again promoted to East London in the same position - before finally transferring to Port Elizabeth in 1894.

The 'post nominal' letters ISO record the award of the Imperial Service Order to Fleischer. The ISO was instituted by King Edward VII in August 1902 and was awarded on retirement to the administration and clerical staff of the Civil Service throughout the British Empire, for long and meritorious service. Normally a person had to serve for 25 years or more to be eligible. The Fountain could therefore only have been donated after August 1902 - but the actual date it was erected and unveiled remains to be confirmed.

The cast iron fountain was made by the well known Coalbrookdale foundry , based in Ironbridge in Shropshire, England. The base comprises a substantial circular shaft, with four finely detailed classical scrolled brackets acting as buttresses. The circular base is surmounted with a moulded interface which in turn supports a large diameter shallow circular dish with a moulded underside and perimeter overflow spouts. A narrower upper shaft in turn supports a second, smaller diameter, shallow circular dish with a moulded underside and again with perimeter overflow spouts. The shaft extends upwards to support a circular base for a small figure supported on a branch - the whole assembly terminating at the apex with a fountain spout.

Fleischer passed away on 10 September 1914 and is buried in the Main Cemetery in Queenstown.

References:
Medals and Decorations of the British Commonwealth of Nations
Kilpin, F E, The Cape of Good Hope Civil Service List, 1898. W & A Richards & Sons, Cape Town, 1898
EGGSA Website

William Martinson, April, 2020

Extract from the Civil Service List:
FLEISCHER, WILLIAM MARTIN.—Clerk to the resident magistrate, Queen's Town, 26th August, 1861 ; resident magistrate, Steynsburg, March, 1876 ; acting civil commissioner and resident magistrate, Cradock, 2nd October, 1877; acting resident magistrate, Stutterheim, and special commissioner under martial law proclamation, 23rd December, 1877 ; served in Xhosa war, under Commandant Schermbrucker, January to April, 1878 ; acting civil commissioner and resident magistrate, Victoria East, 1st May, 1878 ; civil commissioner and resident, magistrate, Wodehouse, 1st January, 1879 ; East London, 7th March, 1880 ; and Port Elizabeth, 17th November, 1894. On special duty on Barkly East border and Moirosi's country, 1879 ; Transkei, 1883 ; to Lady Frere, 1884, and to Indwe, November, 1888. Xhosa war medal.

(Submitted by William Martinson)

These notes were last edited on 2020 05 25