Hospi­tal to un­veil WWII sculp­tures

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

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.

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