While the arrival of ‘Bill The Bastard’ is greatly anticipated in Harden Murrumburrah, there are three obelisks in Mill Park that not only speak to war time service, but also pay tribute to the Murrumboola Wiradjuri people.
The Federation Star is the largest obelisk, standing at 14.1 metres, and contains the following words:
The obelisks were designed and made by local engineer Russell Muirhead. His charitable budget of $3,500 also paid for its erection.
The obelisks are made from recycled American scrap metal.
The star at the top of the largest obelisk celebrates the spirit of Australia.
The four faces of the obelisk are polished and have embedded images. The front face has the red bellied black snake ‘Biri Biri’, which is the protector of children, and highlights the importance of Indigenous values and culture in our community.
The other three faces emphasise the importance of livestock, cereal crops, viticulture, oil and fruit produced in the Hilltops region.
The stonework at the bottom of the largest obelisk is made of granite recycled from pioneering dwellings in the region, primarily from the ruins of a cottage owned by the Stewart family of Currawong Road.
Coins are embedded in the nearby garden wall at the request of a local resident as a gesture of good luck.
The stonework and garden wall have been temporarily disturbed in preparation for the arrival of ‘Bill the Bastard’. Once the statue is in place, it’s hoped they will be restored to their former glory.
The Federation Star was officially opened on August 26, 2001 by Rev. Connie Gerraty and NSW State Counsellor RSL Australia, Graham Stewart.
The 20th anniversary of the development application approval for its erection was celebrated on June 27.
In commemoration of this occasion Russell penned a poem called Reflections on Murrumboola Wiradjuri Values (2017).
The poem was inspired by his neighbours Priscilla George, Lila Irving, and his brother Mathew.
Look to the moon
Dance like nobody is watching
A true friend is the best possession
Love like you’ve never been hurt
Love the stars
Touch the wind
Hug a friend
Value mother earth
Enjoy nature’s gifts
Live to be free.
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