Poems inspire ANZAC walkway

English poet A.E Housman’s poignant poem ‘Here We Dead Lie’ is the inspiration behind one of three impressive art sculptures lining Bankstown City Gardens.

The artworks are part of the city’s centenary commemoration activities developed by Bankstown City Council and Federal Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare.

Residents will be able to view the artworks, inspired by poems from the First World War, during Council’s ANZAC Centenary Commemorations at Bankstown Memorial Oval on Saturday.

Well-known artist, Jane Cavanough, who is also behind the sculptures outside the Bankstown Arts Centre, is the mastermind behind the works at Bankstown City Garden, that depict the city’s connection to the Great War.

Ms Cavanough’s work featuring A.E Housman’s famous poem features a poppy inside a bronzed casing with the words etched from his ‘Here We Dead Lie’ poem.

Her other two works were inspired by JC Hackney’s Evacuation of Gallipoli poem and The Farmer Remembers the Somme by Edward Palmer.

“The extracts of the poems embedded in the artworks are testament to the experience of ANZACs who fought in the First World War,” said Ms Cavanough.

“The artworks reference the war poetry and the poppy as a symbol of Remembrance.”

Federal Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare said that this is an important moment for Australia and it is important that Bansktown is part of it. The reinstallation of the original World War One Memorial and these sculptures will remind local residents of the sacrifice people in our local community made 100 years ago.

Bankstown Mayor, Linda Downey, said the artworks will be a reminder of the soldiers from Bankstown who fought in the First World War as well as those who are currently serving our country.

“We had hundreds of thousands of Australian men fight in the First World War, many who did not make it home including 31 soldiers from Bankstown,” said Mayor Downey.

“We have much to be thankful to these soldiers and those currently serving our country for our freedom, and these artworks will remind our community and future generations just how lucky we are to be a free country.”

Residents are encouraged to bring along their picnic baskets and chair and watch the live screening of the Dawn Ceremony from Gallipoli at the free ANZAC Centenary Commemorations at Bankstown Memorial Oval from 11am.

The event starts at 11am and includes with the laying of wreaths by more than 70 representatives from local school, RSLs and community groups, before the live screening at 12.30pm.

The Bankstown Public School choir will also be on hand to sing the national anthem.

The ANZAC Centenary Commemoration has been made possible thanks to the Federal Government’s Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program, The Hon Jason Clare MP, the Blaxland Anzac Centenary Committee and Council’s ANZAC Working Party made up of Councillors and representatives from the Bankstown RSL, Bankstown Sports Club, Chester Hill RSL, Panania Diggers, Padstow RSL Sub Branch, and local community groups.

Media Contact: Chris Zogopoulos Phone: 9790 2466