Arts, Culture & Heritage

Jock of the Bushveld

Last Updated: September 26, 2023
Artist

Professor Laurence Chait

A Brief History

The sculpture of the famous Jock, the plucky Staffordshire Terrier, a hero of books and popular film, was to be immortalised in a sculpture on the very spot where the stories of his adventures were first told.

Author of the Jock of the Bushveld stories, Percy Fitzpatrick first told the stories to his children at their home at Hohenheim. In the early 1980’s, Hohenheim was demolished and on the same position high on the Parktown Ridge the sprawling Johannesburg Hospital was built. In 1992, Parktown celebrated its centenary, which commemorated the achievement of its pioneers.

The Sculpture was unveiled on Armistice Day (11th November 1992) by Jonathan Rands, the actor who played Sir Percy Fitzpatrick in the film Jock of the Bushveld. It was Sir Percy Fitzpatrick who suggested to King George V that the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month would be used to remember all those servicemen and women of all nations who died in the great war.

The sculpture was cast by the Renzo Vignali Artistic Foundry in Pretoria North and sponsored by Matron Pauline Morgans of the Minerva Clinic.

After an attempt to steal Jock from outside the entrance of the Johannesburg Hospital in the late 1990’s, he was moved inside the hospital out of public sight.

In 2007 an agreement was arranged with the Johannesburg Hospital that the statue could be moved to the Johannesburg Zoo. It was then unveiled for the second time at the new barnyard area of the zoo on the 25th January 2008 by Professor Chait, the sculptor.

Present at the unveiling was Sally Ann Fitzpatrick, great-granddaughter of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. He was credited with providing the first livestock for the Johannesburg Zoo.

Description

Bronze life size sculpture of the dog ‘Jock of the Bushveld’ standing on a concrete plinth.

Artwork Signage

The sculpture of the famous Jock, the plucky Staffordshire Terrier, a hero of books and popular film, was to be immortalised in a sculpture on the very spot where the stories of his adventures were first told.

Author of the Jock of the Bushveld stories, Percy Fitzpatrick first told the stories to his children at their home at Hohenheim. In the early 1980’s, Hohenheim was demolished and on the same position high on the Parktown Ridge the sprawling Johannesburg Hospital was built. In 1992, Parktown celebrated its centenary, which commemorated the achievement of its pioneers.

The Sculpture was unveiled on Armistice Day (11th November 1992) by Jonathan Rands, the actor who played Sir Percy Fitzpatrick in the film Jock of the Bushveld. It was Sir Percy Fitzpatrick who suggested to King George V that the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month would be used to remember all those servicemen and women of all nations who died in the great war.

The sculpture was cast by the Renzo Vignali Artistic Foundry in Pretoria North and sponsored by Matron Pauline Morgans of the Minerva Clinic.

After an attempt to steal Jock from outside the entrance of the Johannesburg Hospital in the late 1990’s, he was moved inside the hospital out of public sight.

In 2007 an agreement was arranged with the Johannesburg Hospital that the statue could be moved to the Johannesburg Zoo. It was then unveiled for the second time at the new barnyard area of the zoo on the 25th January 2008 by Professor Chait, the sculptor.

Present at the unveiling was Sally Ann Fitzpatrick, great-granddaughter of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. He was credited with providing the first livestock for the Johannesburg Zoo.

Location & Address

Johannesburg Zoo, Barnyard Area, Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkview, Johannesburg, Gauteng