Hawkesbury soil collected to remember Anzacs

Local school students, RSL Sub Branch members, Reverend Chris Jones and the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett attended a special ceremony recently to collect soil from Windsor War Memorial.

ANZAC Soil CollectionThe historic soil collection was for the Anzac Memorial Centenary Project, which recognises World War I enlistees who are to be honoured as part of an amazing artwork at the Anzac Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett said the project involves the collection of soil from 1,699 locations across NSW that had Australians enlist for World War I.

“The project stands to remind us that people from all areas of NSW answered the call to defend our country and continue to do so,” the Mayor said.

“The display of the soil from Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce, Pitt Town and Richmond will inform future generations of the enormity of the sacrifices made by the citizens of NSW on behalf of our country, and form a lasting record of the geographic reach of the Call to Serve.”

The Soil Collection Program is part of The Anzac Memorial Centenary Project Artwork by Fiona Hall which will create a new extension to the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park. The extension will open toward the end of the Centenary period in 2018.

The Anzac Memorial was built to commemorate the courage, endurance and sacrifice of Australians from NSW during the Great War from 1914 to 1918.

As well as being a defacto grave site for the soldiers who never made it back to Australia -- and a significant place of remembrance -- the Anzac Memorial is also a sculptural monument that is a wonderful synthesis of architecture and art.

Artist Fiona Hall was selected through an art commission process in 2016 to create an artwork for the Anzac Memorial extension.

Her artwork will be seamlessly integrated into the architecture of the new Hall of Service with a civic space that architecturally and artistically mirrors the Hall of Memory in the original building.

The artist proposed that a plaque be created for every town, suburb and locality around NSW that enlistees for the First World War provided as their place of address. A sample of soil collected from the area will be displayed alongside the place name.

The plaques will line the walls of the Hall of Service and the list of place names will encapsulate the geographical reach of the Call to Serve.

“In its breadth of names, the list describes our colonial history and the country’s long indigenous presence,” Councillor Lyons-Buckett added.

“I know we will all be very proud to have the Hawkesbury soil from our various memorial sites included in the Artwork of the Anzac Memorial, in remembrance of the Hawkesbury soldiers who sacrificed so much for our freedom and our country,” she concluded.ANZAC Soil Collection2


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