Stories

EARLY PATERSON LETTERS STILL AS FRESH AS YESTERDAY

Whilst looking through some of our collection of original Paterson letters and early book editions, comment was made that even though some were much older than others, age didn’t seem to be the instigator for intensive foxing. (The term used for the obvious rusting spots that appears on book pages and documents.) We sought an answer and were surprised to find the following explanation and results.

Most paper of the modern era is made from wood pulp which ages and finally breaks down. This is unlike the quality hemp paper of yesteryear which was made of pulped hemp plant that the market moved against in favor of wood pulp paper due to a huge campaign by giant American chemical companies who have cornered a worldwide market of chemicals involved in the growing, production and pulping of timber for paper.

Hemp makes stronger paper which lasts centuries longer; it doesn’t yellow or crack or otherwise deteriorate like tree paper does now. Hemp stalks take only 4 months to mature whereas trees take at least 20 years and hemp doesn’t need the chemical based bleaching. The photo shows a letter by Banjo Paterson’s father Andrew Paterson written on hemp made paper in 1854 - over 160 years ago, still in good order and no foxing marks to be seen. These letters and many other wonderful exhibits are always on show at the Banjo Paterson…. more than a Poet Exhibition, Yeoval NSW.

THE LARGEST BRONZE SCULPTURE IN AUSTRALIA

Whilst in the Banjo Paterson…more than a Poet Museum pick up a guide to the Banjo Paterson Bush Park sculptures - all of which are in the park across the road. There are 10 in all, ranging from the Banjo Hat to a Holden Ute.

The centerpiece of the sculptures is the 6 metre tall bronze sculpture of the head of the great English sculptor Henry Moore. It’s the largest bronze sculpture in Australia and weighs 6 tonnes. It was cast in Tai...wan and brought to Australia by its creator Drago Marin Cherina. Croatian born, he came to Australia at the invitation of the Whitlam Government to create sculptures for the National Capital. A student of Henry Moore, Drago Marin Cherina described his Master as larger than life and to support this statement he cut the sculpture into 5 pieces and rejoined together in an expanded form emphasizing “larger than life”. Valued at $1m it, was donated to the Banjo Paterson Bush Park by racing Patriarch Mr. Bill Waterhouse.

Now the centre of attention in the park, it’s well worthwhile taking the short walk and if you have the time Google Drago Marin Cherina and all his works. Plan to have a light lunch or a delightful Devonshire Tea before or after your walk.


WALTZING MATILDA WITH “ANDY”
When visiting the Banjo Paterson…more than a Poet Museum it’s a must to cross the road to the Banjo Paterson Bush Park and the Giant Banjo Paterson Hat opposite. Donated to the Yeoval community by past Orange Deputy Mayor Mr. Chris Gryllis, it is lifted up on pole supports with a picnic table beneath where you can sit and have your photo taken with ANDY the swagman who sits there every day awaiting visitors for photos.

ANDY was created by the Borenore Men’s Shed and donated to Yeoval for photo shoots. He took his name from the traditional Banjo Paterson song Waltzing Matilda. “Ändy sang as he watched, Andy waited till his billy boiled”. He now sits in a comfortable wheelchair - making moving him across the road and back of an evening very easy.


ALICE PATERSON SERVED HER COUNTRY TOO.

Once established in Egypt in charge of the Remount Station at Moascar with 230 horse breakers to oversee and thousands of horses to break in, classify and send on to their most suitable army postings, Major A B Paterson took a little time to take in all that was going on around him.

A very primitive Australian Air Corp Flying School was located next door to the Remount Camp. Paterson was very moved by the number of young Australian soldiers who were drawn to the glamour of flying only to find that the aeroplane was still in its infancy and totally different in its reaction and use to any land based machine.

The death toll was rather high and Major Paterson wrote home to his wife in Sydney. He encouraged her to leave the children with relatives and volunteer to serve with the British Red Cross. Mrs Alice Paterson sailed from Australia across the very dangerous Indian Ocean and served her country as a volunteer in the Red Cross Hospital at Ismailia. A wonderful gesture and a great service to her country.



ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO THIS MONTH

One hundred years ago in May 1918 the official magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East was the Kia-ora Cooee. It was published monthly by a joint committee of management consisting of both Australian and New Zealand servicemen. Its office was in the A.I.F. Headquarters in Cairo and it was published monthly. It encouraged contributions of interesting stories, poems, jokes and cartoons from serving members of both Australian and New Zealand forces.                                                          

Many talents were discovered from cartoon drawing to short stories and poetry writing. Trooper Bluegum is a great example of those discovered and all were supported by well-established poets such as Banjo Paterson, who wrote 3 very moving poems whilst serving in Egypt - ”The Army Mules”,  ”Moving On” and “Santa Claus”.  All of these were printed in the Kia-ora Cooee and because it was not a mainstream publications all 3 poems were overlooked for many years as all Paterson poems were cataloged and collected.                                                                                                                         

The caricature of an Australian and a New Zealand Soldier (which featured as the front cover of the Kia-ora Cooee was drawn by David Baker), without any words it sums up the ANZAC tradition which has only strengthened over the past 100 years.

BOOKS AT THE BANJO PATERSON …MORE THAN A POET MUSEUM

Second hand bookshops have a wonderful attraction to me with one of my favorites being the Cooks Hill Bookshop, Darby Street in Newcastle. They have a great range of subjects and one can always find a “Treasure” or two at very reasonable prices.

Amongst the collection of books I collected last weekend was Tales of Old Gundagai written by the past President of the Gundagai and District Historical Society, published 1979. It contains a short Item titled Kiley’s Run and adds another page to the history of Paterson poems. It tells the poems history and shows again that most Paterson poems are quite often written using a familiar name with snippets of truth and a lot of poetic imagination and licence - all rolled up to tell an interesting poetic story.

In our collection of A B “Banjo” Paterson books we have an extensive collection of all his books, paying special attention to one of each edition commencing with one of the first “Man From Snowy River” books to come off the press in 1895 which is autographed by Paterson.

Call in and enjoy the whole Exhibition usually open every day 9am to 3pm.

A B Paterson in his racing colours

VISIT US

Do you have visitors coming or looking for an outing this weekend or indeed any weekend? Take a trip to the small village of Yeoval centrally located at the centre of Orange, Parkes and Dubbo.

The award-winning Clancy’s Café is located within the Banjo Paterson …more than a Poet Museum. Allow an hour or two to explore this unique collection of Paterson stories, photos, memorabilia and original letters and manuscripts. Then enjoy a cuppa and a light lunch or a delightful, made on the premises, fresh scone, jam and cream.


Balmain Regatta Maiden 4's

DID YOU KNOW?

The Museum is called “More than a Poet” because of the many sports and adventures across the world that Andrew Barton Paterson became involved over his lifetime, especially in his sporting ability, remembering that a childhood accident left him with a shortened left arm.

Paterson rowed competitively for his school and the Sydney and Balmain Rowing Clubs. A great horseman, he rode several winners over the hurdles at Sydney race meetings, he played Polo for several Sydney clubs and was a member of the NSW Polo Team. Other sports include cricket, golf and on the side of arts he played the violin as a school student.

A LETTER IN TIME

Old historic letters are mainly tucked away behind the scenes of Museums unseen and mainly forgotten.

This letter is on full view at the Banjo Paterson…more than a Poet Museum in Yeoval NSW.

Just think about it for a minute, do you have any letters written to you or your parents say 50 years ago? Well our Andrew Paterson and James Paterson letters were written nearly 170 years ago - over 10 years before Banjo was born.

These letters written by his Father and Uncle to their faraway Bank in native Scotland have survived through a remarkable twist being stored because of the hobby of an American stamp collector to whom the name Paterson meant nothing.

It’s one of many historical items held in the Banjo Paterson … more than a Poet Museum. Organise a visit - stay for a cuppa or light lunch at our Clancy’s Café.

Front of Museum
ROAD TRIPS IN THE CENTRAL WEST

The Central West of NSW offers many interesting, historical and enjoyable experiences. A trip to the Cabonne Council “What’s on this Month” brings up a host of special events and places of interest. The Banjo Paterson …more than a Poet Museum is one such example, easy to find on the Wellington Road from Yeoval next to the Catholic Church. Usually open every day 9 till 4 - unless we are on a “Paterson Trail” (Ring 0427208913 or 0458464190 to confirm).

There is an extensive range of brochures and maps to help the visitor, as well as first hand information on our local places and events. We are centrally located - situated equidistant from the Dubbo Zoo, the Wellington Caves and the Parkes Telescope and within 40 minutes of all of these places. It is possible to drive past our Banjo Paterson Museum en-route to the other two. On your next road trip give it a go and call in.

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