Thames marked the birthday of King Edward VII by opening both Victoria Reserve and the Coronation Band Rotunda on November 10, 1902. The foundation stone of the Troopers [South African War] Memorial was laid on the same day. The park was named in honour of Edward VIIs mother, Queen Victoria, and at one time the southern section was named for his father, Prince Albert. It was hoped Victoria Reserve would create a good impression to visitors arriving at the nearby Grahamstown Railway Station, which no longer exists. This place is also wahi tapu [sacred space] for the people of Ngati Maru.