AS dawn rises over the Central Western NSW City of Orange this Anzac Day, there will be a couple of Novocastrians standing tall at the memorial service.
The city’s new cenotaph was unveiled yesterday and features two bronze statues created by Newcastle artist Julie Squires.
Ms Squires work will be familiar to many in the Hunter, her Destiny sculpture at Dyke Point has been welcoming ships to the Port of Newcastle since 1999, and she was also the guiding hand behind the Muster Point tribute to the workers of BHP after the closure of the steelworks.
Her work is appreciated across the nation, including a victorious Peter Brock atop Bathurst’s Mount Panorama, and larger than life bronze Anzacs marking the start of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road.
But when Orange City Council decided late last year to install a new Cenotaph for the 100th anniversary of Anzac, she knew she would have her work cut out.
“Usually something like this would take up to 12 months,” she said.
Nothing would stop her from fulfilling her obligation to the council and the people of Orange as she worked up to 16 hours a day to get the work done in record time.
“I actually sliced my thumb open while I was making the statues and needed to go to the hospital for stitches, but I worked with my other hand until I was picked up and taken to the hospital,” she said.
She even pulled family in to help, with nephew Dane serving as the model for the sailor figure.
They were lowered in place by a crane and secured late on Wednesday afternoon under Ms Squires watchful eye.
“While we were in the process of doing that there was a lady here watching and it brought tears to her eyes,” she said.
“As an artist, when you realise you have achieved something that will evoke emotion it is a very satisfying feeling, because that is what it is all about.
“I hope the people of Orange will be equally responsive.”