Bernard Lane Naming

The renaming of this laneway is a modest but absolutely fitting tribute to Bernard Smith.

As a renowned art scholar and critic, and inaugural Power Professor of Fine Arts at Sydney University, he built an extraordinary reputation. His books, such as European Vision and the South Pacific, gave us new ways of engaging with our art and our history, and he is credited with ensuring the recognition of art history as an academic discipline.

But he and Kate were also great activists, and founding members of the Glebe Society. They wrote about its architecture and they also took to the streets and sat in front of the bulldozers to protest against the freeways that would have destroyed this marvellous place.

It's hard to imagine now that an expressway was supposed to come along Glebe Point Road to funnel containers from the depots planned for Blackwattle Bay - where our foreshore park now is!

Bernard and Kate decried those plans; they saw what was valuable here: not only the houses but the wonderful mix of people who lived in them. And they, and their fellow protestors, deserve our gratitude for preserving this unique place.

Council was glad to endorse the proposal, and I thank the Glebe Society for putting it forward. Bernard Smith may have died in Melbourne but a part of him will always be here in Glebe.