His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retired) spoke of the strength of community spirit as he officially opened the AMAZING sculpture by the Lachlan River.
“I’m not amazed that we are standing here today, given the list of all the people in the community who have been involved,” Governor Hurley said.
Having visited the area in drought and flood, he welcomed the opportunity to stand on the stock route in good times for such a happy occasion.
“It is the people of the region who are rock steady,” he said. “There are lots of challenges, but it is the desire to be different, to sustain this way of life, to say ‘our community will grow’ that is the critical thing.”
The hand over of AMAZING from Forbes Art Society to Forbes Shire Council and the people of Forbes is both an end and a beginning in the Somewhere Down the Lachlan project.
It’s the end of a community effort to build the letters and place them along the stock route. It’s only the beginning of a sculpture trail that Rosie Johnston hopes will sprawl from Forbes along the river to Condobolin.
At the handover, Dr Keith Mullette explained it had been three years since the first ‘a’ was built by Ian ‘Bart’ Bartholomaeus.
Once it was placed in Albion park, government funding came forth to make the ‘m’ but Kim Muffett realised they could stretch those funds, purchasing enough steel for all the letters and completing the project with volunteer labour.
MidPro Engineering cut the letters, local farmers (Angus Maslin, Trevor Toole, Jeff Moon, James Stewart, John Harrison, Ben and Brad Harrison, Ollie and Colin Dawes, Peter Morrison, David and Nick Adams, Michael and Tom Green) gave their welding skills to form them.
The site on the stock route was chosen but with the area in flood, the placing of the letters was delayed until earlier this year.
“This is the first sculpture to be placed here this year,” Dr Mullette said. “There are two more if things go to plan with at least one each year after that.”
Future entries will come from the Sculpture Forbes competition’s $20,000 Forbes Shire Council acquisition prize.
General Hurley and his wife Linda are official patrons of the project and Mrs Hurley sang a song she had written for the occasion.
“The word in red describes the people, the mighty work that they can do,” she said.