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REDHS unveils WWII statues

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November 14, 2017

Rochester RSL Vice President Tony McMahon pays his respects.

ABOUT 200 people converged on Rochester and Elmore District Health Service to see the new memorial statues.

The life-sized statues of a World War II soldier and nurse were unveiled on Thursday, just in time for the 99th anniversary of the Armistice.

Present at the unveiling were member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh, Councillor Leigh Wilson and Major General Brian Dawson AM CSC (Ret’d).

The sculptures were hand-carved by sculptor Richard Yates and will stand at the entrance to the hospital.

‘‘They were both carved from a single piece of cypress pine,’’ Richard said.

‘‘After a lot of collaboration and consultation with some old family photos and ideas we came to the conclusion that the soldier and the nurse would be best represented together.

‘‘The soldier is holding a cane and the nurse is helping his other arm — like they are walking out of the hospital.

‘‘I guess we thought it would be nice to represent how it was — that the nurse would help the soldiers heal and then help them walk out of there.’’

Richard said he paid particular attention to the uniforms.

‘‘The photos of family members were very helpful and I tried to make the uniforms as real as I could with all the little details on them,’’ he said.

‘‘It was important to both me and the organising committee to have it represent two people who were perhaps from Rochester during that time.’’

Richard used mainly power tools to produce the two figures.

‘‘I like using chainsaws and all sorts of power tools to create my sculptures,’’ Richard said.

‘‘Each sculpture took just under a month to make but including painting they probably took closer to six weeks each.’’

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