Obley shrine has reason to shine

24 Apr, 2015 02:00 AM
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Michael Antrobus gives the Obley War Memorial a paint touch-up in readiness for Anzac Day.
...I keep painting over and over to seal the concrete and make it airtight
Michael Antrobus gives the Obley War Memorial a paint touch-up in readiness for Anzac Day.

OBLEY was a thriving town of about 3500 people in its "heyday" prior to the railway running through Yeoval in the early 1880s.

"That was its deathnell," Michael Antrobus said.

The town boasted three pubs, a police station with two lock-ups and exercise yard, post office, school and school house for the teacher among houses and shacks.

Thirteen names are inscribed on the roll of honour, a marble plinth constructed in Wellington by C.J. Shakespeare, a monumental stone mason, in memory of those who "fought and fell in the Great War 1914-18".

Mr Antrobus has been painting the concrete memorial and surrounds before Anzac Day each year for the past 15 years.

"When they constructed this monument in Wellington, to save on weight when transporting, they mixed charcoal with cement instead of sand, but it sucks in moisture and crumbles, so I keep painting over and over to seal the concrete and make it airtight," he said.

More than 40 people attend a 7.15am memorial service at the site each Anzac Day.

Mr Antrobus lives just over the Little River from the memorial, about 500 metres away, and has become the self-appointed custodian.

TheLand
Mark Griggs

Mark Griggs

is a journalist for The Land at Dubbo

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