Hospital to unveil WWII sculptures
PATIENTS and visitors will be greeted by a World War II soldier and nurse when arriving at the Rochester hospital later this week.
Two life-sized sculptures will be unveiled at the Rochester and Elmore District Health Service on Thursday prior to the health service’s annual general meeting.
The sculptures have been 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 uses mainly power tools to produce the sculptures.
‘‘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.’’
Richard is originally from Wyoming, USA, but now lives near Castlemaine with his wife.
‘‘I came out to Australia in 2002 and started carving as a hobby in 2005,’’ Richard said.
‘‘After battling leukaemia three times my wife said to me that life is an adventure.
‘‘So we set up a gallery at our home and I have been doing contract work since.’’
The sculptures will be unveiled outside REDHS at 4pm on Thursday.
The community are welcome to attend.