His­tory caught in 100kg of metal

The Gympie Times - - NEWS - SCOTT KOVACEVIC Re­porter scott.kovacevic@gympi­etimes.com

THE An­zac spirit has a rep­u­ta­tion for steely re­solve, and black­smith Dan Davie has cap­tured it with his new­est statue made of more than 100kg of metal.

Rep­re­sent­ing a World War I Dig­ger, the statue was a four-month labour for the sculp­tor, and will soon be headed north to its new home at the Ed­mon­ton Ceno­taph.

And it was all done one piece at a time.

“I forge all the pan­els, and then I fab­ri­cate them into place,” he said.

“Then I carve it back into de­tails.

“It’s all dif­fer­ent sec­tions of steel.”

Mr Davie said the weight was added as a pre­cau­tion for where it will be erected.

“I’ve made it heav­ier than nor­mal be­cause it’s go­ing to a pretty wet area up there,” he said.

It will be the lat­est piece of art from Mr Davie to find a home around Queens­land.

While he en­joyed know­ing his work was out and about, it was not some­thing he fo­cused on.

“It’s good but I don’t dwell on it. Once it leaves home it’s gone,” he said.

“It’s nice to do these things. Peo­ple have got a lot of mem­o­ries of this stuff.”

While the Dig­ger’s look is iconic in Aus­tralia, it was not the only part of Aus­tralian ser­vice her­itage which he wanted to get right.

The his­toric .303 ri­fle also needed to be per­fect.

To make it so, Mr Davie went an ex­tra mile.

“I went out to Ron Owen’s

❝I’ve made it heav­ier than nor­mal be­cause it’s go­ing to a pretty wet area up there. — Dan Davie

Gun Shop and they let me take photos and mea­sure­ments of a .303,” he said.

“It was good be­cause I could get the proper di­men­sions rather than just try­ing to work it out off a pho­to­graph.”

While this statue is soon to be de­ployed to its new north­ern as­sign­ment, it will not be alone for long, with a Viet­nam vet­eran statue to join it in time for the 2018 An­zac com­mem­o­ra­tions.

PHOTO: SCOTT KOVACEVIC

STEELY RE­SOLVE: Dan Davie with his new­est statue of a 1916 Dig­ger which will make its new home at the Ed­mon­ton Ceno­taph.

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