Work on Percy Hobson Memorial Moving Ahead


Rene O’Donnell, Richard Stutchbury, Victor Bartley and Simon Young at the memorial site. Photo Noel Fisher

It didn’t start life as a memorial, but as a tribute to an indigenous Bourke man’s impact on the nation with his sporting abilities.

Percy Hobson was not only ‘the boy from Bourke’, but a pioneer for indigenous athletes in Commonwealth Games competition.

Aged just 20, the Ngemba man was the first Aboriginal athlete to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal, as well as the first to do so in an international arena.

These achievements are more incredible when you realise that he was coached in Bourke by correspondence from Sydney.

However, with Percy’s recent passing the tribute will become a memorial.

The brainchild of Bourke Shire Councillor, Victor Bartley, the works will incorporate an area for people to view the artwork on the water tower in Percy Hobson Park.

Now a part of the national silo art trail, continued work on the site will further improve the experience people have when interacting with the attraction and will feature a marble plinth with a representation of Percy’s medal.

The installation was designed and is being built by Richard Stutchbury, a Sydney stone mason well known around Bourke for his work on the streetscape and cenotaph precinct.

Clr Bartley said that the location will also feature a dais with seating around it so that people can look up at the mural.

“People will be able to look up and see the actual height of his achievements – a 6-foot eleven-inch, gold medal winning achievement”, Clr Bartley said.

“Even many local people don’t know much about Percy and his achievement and what it took to get him to the Empire Games in Perth in 1962, so I hope that it will become a great talking point for tourists and locals.


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