Early on Sunday morning I went to Bowring Park in St. John's to take some photos in that light that only the morning can provide. By the duck pond there is a Peter Pan statue which I remember as a child and which is a magnet for every child who sees it. The animals are worn smooth by small hands caressing them - and larger ones too.
There is an interesting story behind the statue which was commissioned by Sir Edgar Rennie Bowring in memory of his grand daughter who died at sea. The plaque reads "In memory of a little girl who loved the Park" and was unveiled on Aug. 29, 1925. The little girl who loved the park was Betty Munn, daughter of John Shannon Munn and Alice May McCowen. Betty and her father were lost in the wreck of the Florizel, a Bowring Brothers ship which was destroyed on the rocks off Cappahayden during a winter's storm on the night of Feb. 23-24, 1918. They were on their way to New York to rendezvous with Betty's mother who was already there. Betty Munn was three and one-half years old.
Bowring Brothers Ltd donated Bowring Park, three miles from downtown St John's, to the people of the city in 1911 in celebration of their 100th year of business in Newfoundland. The Duke of Connaught officially opened it on July 14, 1914. Sir Edgar Rennie Bowring was a businessman, politician and philanthropist, a partner in the family business, Bowring Brothers. Among the firm's interests was shipping and one of their vessels was the Florizel.
The Peter Pan statue was created in 1912 by Sir George Frampton who was commissioned by J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. Seven replicas only were cast from the original mould of the Peter Pan statue which is located in London's Kensington Gardens.
The seven statues are located around the world:
1. Kensington Gardens, London, England
2. Sefton Park, Liverpool
3. Egmont Park, Brussels, Belgium
4. Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey
5. Bowring Park, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
6. Glenn Gould Park, Toronto, Canada
7. Queen's Gardens, Perth, Western Australia