The Edward O’Donnell Drinking Fountain in the O'Donnell Gardens, St Kilda needs to be repaired to full operation with both water reticulation and lighting. The fountain has no running water and the water in its base contains bird droppings and rubbish. Let us know your thoughts by clicking the 'got something to say' button at the bottom of the page. You may be interested in the history of the fountain.
Edward O’Donnell Drinking Fountain
Also Known As: Edward O’Donnell Memorial
Builder/Designers: Modern Art Co Pty Ltd., Clifton Hill.
Engineers: McPherson’s Pty. Ltd.
Funded By: Public subscription
Date Unveiled: 1935
Description: The 4.5m high concrete fountain was erected in honour of Edward O’Donnell who served as a St Kilda councillor for 44 years. The Art Deco style hexagonal fountain features a 5-metre diameter circular pool at its base and three griffins atop the piers. The hooded niches on the three sides hide water spray jets which originally released fine sprays of water which at night would be illuminated by two amber tinted lights.
Location: The memorial to Edward O’Donnell is located at The Esplanade, O`Donnell Gardens, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia.
Who was Edward O’Donnell?:
• Six times mayor of the city of St. Kilda.
• Forty-four years a Councillor for the West Ward.
• Foundation member of the St Kilda Shore Committee.
• The Albert Park Committee of Management the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works and the Alfred Hospital Committee of Management.
• Trustee of the St. Kilda Cemetery.
The name O’Donnell, be it the gardens or the fountain, is well known to St Kilda residents and visitors – more so than the achievements of the man they commemorate. Edward O’Donnell was a St Kilda Councillor and businessman. He was born in county Tipperary, Ireland in 1845. The family arrived in Australia in 1855 and settled in St Kilda shortly thereafter. Edward continued to live in
St Kilda until his death in 1933. While still a teenager Edward commenced work as assistant to Charles Gray, licensed grocer, Fitzroy Street, St Kilda. The business was later taken over by John Fletcher before it was acquired by O’Donnell in 1868 when just 23 years of age. He later opened a second store, Universal Cash Sales, on the corner of Chapel and Wellington streets.
In 1872, Edward married Bridget Brown in St Mary’s Catholic Church, East St Kilda. The couple had eleven children: eight daughters and three sons. One son, Frank, eventually managed the Fitzroy Street store and another son, Dargan, the one in Chapel Street.
Edward was elected to the St Kilda council in 1888 as a member for West Ward and served continuously for 44 years. During that time, he was mayor on six separate occasions, including the war years. He was a member of the St Kilda Foreshore Committee from its inception in 1906 and its chairman from 1918.
The work of the committee, led by the vision of Carlo Catani, gifted St Kilda its unique foreshore parks and gardens and the landscaped Esplanade belvedere that continue to define St Kilda 100 years later. In 1928, to celebrate his fortieth year on council, Edward was accorded a dinner at the George Hotel. The menu suggests it was a splendid affair with a style of cuisine very much of the time.
Following his death in 1933, a fountain was commissioned to perpetuate his memory in the centre of the gardens that had, by then, already started to be known by his name.