A Man for all Seasons

Since 1988, this portly businessman has hardly left King Street. He’s been out there in all weather, through all seasons, but he doesn’t always remain in the same location. When he appeared in 1988 he was standing in front of the Henley Arcade on the north side of the street staring up at the clock in the tower of Victoria Hall. Now he poses on the other side of King.

The little man is, of course, the sculpture that graces the King streetscape. His creator, sculptor William McElcheran, christened him Introibo ad Altare Dei. Cast in bronze in Italy, Introibo stands at 6’ 6”and weighs 650 pounds. He is not unique -- he’s a clone. Four of him were cast before the mold was destroyed. One remains in Italy, another is at Commerce Court in Toronto and the other one is in a private collection in Philadelphia.

This exuberant sculpture, Cobourg’s first outdoor public work of art, was purchased by the Art Gallery of Northumberland with the aid of a government grant. He is on extended loan from the gallery to the town of Cobourg for all of the citizens of Northumberland County.

by Judith Goulin - CDHS - Cobourg & District Historical Society
Originally published in the CDHS newsletter September and October 2010.

JS BowensJ. S. Bowen's Variety Store and Barber ShopThe King Street walkway that many people pass through on their way from the Covert Street parking lot has a long history. It was not always the handy shortcut that it is now. Early records indicate that this space was occupied by a shop called J. S. Bowen's Variety Store and Barber Shop. Later it was home to a different type of business---John Henley Shoe Repair.

John Henley, who grew up in Surrey, England, was orphaned when his parents both died of influenza. Along with his brothers, Henley was taken to the School of Hand Crafts, a place designed to provide practical training and general education for young men. Here John learned the trade of shoe repair.