After months of hard work and planning, the sculpture commemorating Alfred Russel Wallace was finally unveiled on 18 October 2014 to a crowd of up to a hundred people outside Hertford Theatre.
Dr George Beccaloni, curator of orthopteroidea and the Wallace Collection at the Museum of Natural History, welcomed this acknowledgement of Wallace, who was a world famous scientist at his death in 1913 but whose reputation had since been eclipsed by that of Darwin.
Local sculptor Rodney Munday told us that he had “welcomed the opportunity to give something back to Hertford”, and how he had been inspired to include a bird of paradise in his portrait sculpture of Wallace, which is now attached to the theatre wall.
The Society’s chairman Terry Betts thanked all those who had contributed to the project. These included Hertford Civic Society, East Herts Council and Hertford Town Council for the funding and our vice-chairman Malcolm Ramsay who organised the competition and public consultation which led to the selection of the design. Music was provided on the day by the Richard Hale School Band.
Wallace (1823-1913), who 'discovered' evolution alongside Charles Darwin, was brought up and educated in Hertford.