An AMBITIOUS project to erect the world’s first statue to commemorate the life of David Dunbar Buick was agreed by members of the Arbroath Guildry Incorporation this week.
Buick, who was born in Arbroath in 1854 and emigrated to America with his parents when he was two, became interested in the internal combustion engine at the close of the 1800s and left his original career in plumbing to form the Buick Auto-Vim & Power Company.
This was followed by the Buick Manufacturing Company and, later, the Buick Motor Company which would eventually become a cornerstone of the giant General Motors empire.
“As far as we know, the only two memorials to Buick in the town of his birth are a small plaque on the wall of a building in Green Street, Arbroath, close to his now demolished birthplace, and a street called Buick Rigg”; said Dean of the Arbroath Guildry Ian Lamb.
“It seems incredible that the man who invented the overhead valve engine and has since lent his name to more than 40 million vehicles, should be so forgotten.
“Buick is one of America’s oldest and most successful car brands. Buick vehicles are sold in the USA, Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan and Israel with China being its largest market.”
Mr Lamb said the Guildry had formed a sub-committee at its biannual meeting in Hospitalfield House this week to take the statue project forward.
“Just now, we only have a rough idea of costs and, quite apart from finding substantial funding, we will have to liaise with the local and planning authorities on major considerations like the siting of a statue, so these are very early days.
“Arbroath only has two statues to its name. One of Robert Burns outside the library, and the declaration statue as you enter the town from Dundee, so another one wouldn’t go amiss.”
Mr Lamb added that Buick was only one of three sons of the town who had a major impact on the development of America as a nation, the other two being William Small of Carmyllie, and Thomas Moonlight.
Also at the meeting, Mr Lamb inducted five new members, who were Peter Black, Bruce Currie, David Langlands, Alan Mowatt and Andrew Welsh.
He also welcomed special guest Robin Iffla, Lord Dean of Stirling Guildry, to the meeting.