One of Australia’s newest statues is a literary one.
Unveiled in 2021, it stands in the town of Yeoval in NSW, just outside the Banjo Paterson Museum in the main street, and it depicts Andrew Barton Paterson, best known as ‘Banjo’ Paterson, in his military uniform as Major of the Allied Remounts in Egypt. It stands 2.7m high, is in bronze, and was the work of Australian sculptor Paul Smits (who died suddenly just a few days after this work was unveiled). In one hand the poet holds his trusty pipe.
I must admit I’d never heard of this poet until I came to live in Australia. I knew the words of Waltzing Matilda but was ignorant of The Man from Snowy River until I heard and watched it at my first Royal Easter Show in Sydney. It’s a poem I have come to love, for its fabulous energy and movement, the drama of the dangerous ride, and the very Australianness of its tale and language. So, I’m delighted that Paterson has been honoured with such a fine statue, although I think I’d have personally chosen to leave him out of military uniform and instead portray him with a pen in his hand.
Have you seen this statue? Tell me by leaving a comment here.