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Weel kent regular expert - ex Pat - Jock Smith, sent us this article:-

City of Milwaukee Wisconsin USA Re-Names Park after Robert Burns

For many years Scots have celebrated the life of our Bard Robert Burns by laying a wreath at the statue of Robert burns in the city of Milwaukee Wisconsin, a beautiful city standing on the shores of Lake Michigan.

The statue was presented to the City in 1909 by Scots immigrant James Anderson Bryden who commissioned Edinburgh sculptor William Grant Stevenson to carry out the work.

The statue was placed on land donated to the city by land developer James Roger in 1847, and is one of the oldest parks in the city. A dedication ceremony on 26th June of 1909 included unveiling of the statue by the great great granddaughter of Solomon Juneau, Milwaukee's first mayor.

The park was turned over to Milwaukee county by the city in 1937 as part of the consolidation of parks. Under the county's jurisdiction the site became
known as Robert Burns triangle although it was not officially renamed due to a deed of restriction contained in the conveyance from the city requiring that the name Franklin Square be retained.

In 1994, at the request of Milwaukee county, the city removed this restriction and the park was renamed Burns Square. In May of that year the Milwaukee County board adopted a resolution which authorized the parks Director to execute a cooperation agreement between the County, the city of Milwaukee, the city redevelopment authority and developers represented by the Mandel Group, Inc. which involves land currently owned by the developers. This additional land which abuts the existing park, will increase the total park size to approximately 1.5 acres, and will be re-named The Burns Common.

The project which is estimated to cost $ 700,000 will be completed at no expense to Milwaukee County. Upon satisfactory completion of the project the entire site and all improvements will be turned over to the Parks department. The Milwaukee Scots community were generous with their contributions towards the project. The St Andrews Society of Milwaukee and The SFI (the Scottish festivals organisers) and the Robert Burns club of Milwaukee among the top contributors. A total of around $12,000 was donated.

On 25th August 2001 the Burns common will be officially opened. Invitations will be sent out and hopefully we will have some representatives from Scotland. My own hope is that our new president, Jim Gibson and chief executive Shirley Bell of the World Burns Federation and hopefully some of our MSP's will be able to attend.

I sincerely hope we do not let this chance to promote Scotland, Robert Burns
and The World Burns Federation pass.

I believe that we the people who now live away from Scotland are the
ambassadors for Scotland and should never cease to promote our home land at
every opportunity.

Jock Smith, V/P Robert Burns Club Of Milwaukee.