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Henry Lawson celebration a huge success

Performers at the Wake for Henry Lawson were Geoffrey Graham. Paul Roe, Nerida Cuddy, Manfred Vijars and Jason and Chloe Roweth. Photo TWH

The celebration of Henry Lawson’s life and works at Bourke on the weekend was a resounding success.

Artists, poets, and performers joined visitors and locals to remember a legend of the man who made Bourke part of the lexicon of our nation.

The events kicked off on Friday night at the Port of Bourke Hotel, with some rousing folk music, recitals of Lawson’s work and plenty of spontaneous performances.

Former ‘Bard of Bourke’ himself, Andrew Hull, was the driving force behind the event, which marked 100 years since Henry’s passing on September 2.

It was an untried concept, but ‘Hully’ and Bourke Council’s Manager of Economic Development Mel Milgate said it was a huge success – a part cultural experience and part exploration of some of iconic sites, all wrapped up in a Lawson theme.

Andrew filmed the events for future posterity and said the weekend would serve as a lesson in Lawson’s importance to Australia, and Bourke’s place in the legend.

“If you’ve ever read a Lawson story, you’ll know they are full of strange and interesting characters and mishaps along the way and that was certainly true of the weekend’s festivities,” he said.

“There was a dead cat on the stage during one of the performances, which was like something out of a Lawson story.

“There’s an old saying that ‘once you know who the narrator is you can work out what movie you’re in’, and Lawson was definitely narrating this weekend.

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