In 1902 the New Zealand Government provided £ for £ grants to commemorate King Edward’s Coronation. In Cambridge engineer Ashley Hunter, was authorised to arrange with Williams & Grayden to erect the fountain for a sum not exceeding £35.
King Edward’s Fountain was built in ‘Cambridge Square’ at the cross roads of Victoria and Dukes Streets.
In 1912 it became King Edward’s Memorial.
In 1922 there were rumblings to have the fountain removed. A petition, over a yard long, was presented to Cambridge Borough Council signed by 186 citizens in opposition to destroying the King Edward’s Fountain.
Sam Lewis (the mayor) wanted to make it clear that there was no slight on any of the people who had been connected with the erection of the fountain but it could not be disputed that the fountain was in the wrong place. Some thought it was a danger to motorists, others thought it helped regulate the traffic.
Cambridge Borough Council meeting, 20 May 1933, new brooms were sweeping :- ‘The rockery at the intersection of Duke and Victoria Streets (situated out of the correct intersection alignment) be removed immediately. It is a menace to motor traffic and a direct cause of recent minor accidents.’
Two days later saw the council workmen on the spot with picks, shovels and a motor lorry and soon there was little or no trace of the obstruction.
Was this fountain ahead of its time? Should we have it re erected, on the Victoria- Duke Streets round-a-bout, with memorial plaques to all the Queens and Kings who have reigned over Cambridge New Zealand?
After all we are reported to be an ‘English’ town – and what’s more English than the Royals.