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02 May, 2012

South Australian Pioneers Honoured

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood unveiled two bronze busts on Friday 27th April to commemorate Lady Esther Lipman OBE and her father Vaiben Louis Solomon (known as V.L) who both contributed to the city’s cultural, political and social development. The busts have been donated by Lady Esther’s family.

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said that he was honoured to be part of the unveiling of the bronze busts.

“Lady Esther and V.L Solomon demonstrated the fearless Australian pioneer spirit, treading into new territory and paving the way for future generations,” he said.

Lady Esther was elected as the State’s first woman Councillor in 1956 and alderman in 1969. She served as the council’s first female elected member for 22 years, and later as Deputy Lord Mayor and also Acting Lord Mayor.  At first most of the members of the Council were less than delighted to have a woman as one of their number; however, her good sense, wit and sense of humour soon won them over.

During the war years, Lady Esther was (in an honorary capacity) full time Secretary of the Fighting Forces Comforts fund and a member of the Auxiliary of Women Police. She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to Community and Local Government.

Lady Esther founded the Local Government Women's Association and was also Chairman of the Parks and Gardens Committee and represented the Council on the Board of Governors of the Adelaide Festival of Arts from 1962 until 1972. 

“Lady Esther - my mother – was really thought of as the matriarch of Adelaide. She always maintained a very positive outlook throughout all the years she worked for women, children and for the city,” said Dr Rex Lipman, Lady Esther’s son.

V.L. was elected as the Northern Territory representative in the South Australian House of Assembly in 1890 and again in 1905. He was premier for a very short time in 1899 and deputy leader of the Opposition in 1908.

He was also a member of the first Federal Parliament and as a staunch advocate of inter-colonial free trade, V.L. considered it a distinction to have been, along with Hon John Downer, a delegate to the Australasian Federal Convention in 1897 that drafted the Federal Constitution.

In 1990 Lady Esther-Jacobs was recognised for her outstanding contribution to the City of Adelaide, and in particular its Park Lands, by the naming of a significant portion of Park 12 as ‘Esther Lipman Gardens'.

“When the Lady Esther gardens were named in her honour, the family promised we would make sure there was a suitable sculpture to give the garden a focus,” Dr Lipman said.

The busts have been created by respected sculptor Ken Martin.

“The busts are very beautiful and I’m thrilled they have gone so well,” Dr Lipman said.

The garden is near the Torrens Parade Grounds in the city. Visitors are welcome.

L-R, Lord Mayor, Stephen Yarwood , artist Ken Martin, Mrs Rex Lipman and Dr Rex Lipman.

Standing next to the bronze bust of Lady Esther Lipman -Jacobs OBE are left to right, Lord Mayor, Stephen Yarwood , artist Ken Martin, Mrs Rex Lipman and Dr Rex Lipman.

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Media Contact

Paula Stevens
8203 7760 or 0427 910 554

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