Banjo Patterson sculpture to be erected at Yeoval museum

Alf Cantrell, from the Banjo Paterson Museum with Calare MP Andrew Gee. Photo: Supplied
Alf Cantrell, from the Banjo Paterson Museum with Calare MP Andrew Gee. Photo: Supplied

A bronze sculpture of beloved Australian poet will soon serve as a drawcard to locals and tourists when it is erected at museum in Yeoval next year.

The Banjo Paterson Museum has received a $7500 grant under Round 5 of the Australian Government's Stronger Communities Program for the manufacturing of a sculpture of Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson.

Yeoval is the childhood hometown of Banjo Paterson and it will be placed at the front of the Banjo Paterson Museum facing the main street.

Alf Cantrell, from the Banjo Paterson Museum, was thrilled to receive the funding to take the museum to the next level.

"My wife, Sharon Cantrell, and I wanted to develop tourist attractions for Yeoval, which saw the inception of the Mulga Bill Bicycle Festival in town and the opening of the museum 5-6 years ago," Mr Cantrell said.

"We've got a great display of poems, letters and other memorabilia from the Banjo Paterson days. Banjo had a very full life. He was a solicitor; a war correspondent; newspaper editor; soldier; journalist; sports commentator; jockey; farmer; an adventurer and one of the greatest poets our country has ever seen."

Mr Cantrell said the statue's construction is well underway with the end result being a 2.7 metre-high bronze statue that is expected to be erected on February 17, 2021.

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Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, Andrew Gee was delighted with the progress that has been made on the construction of the statue when he visited the museum on Friday.

"The Banjo Paterson Museum is a key regional tourism destination and this sculpture is going to provide locals and visitors with another very special attraction," Mr Gee said.

"Banjo was an iconic, Aussie legend - a household name, his poems being taught to our children in schools from an early age. The Banjo Paterson story is a critical piece of our nation's history. He helped shape our Australians' national identity.

Mr Gee said Alf and Sharon have done a fantastic job in preserving Banjo's memory through the museum, so he was delighted the funding will assist with the creation of a statue for the wider community to enjoy.