Oamaru sculptures relocated

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A couple that called the Oamaru Club home for several years have found a new haunt in the North Otago township of Duntroon.
The Oamaru stone sculptures, created by Omarama sculptor Bill Adams, depict a pioneer couple and were often admired by those walking or driving along the State Highway 1 side of the club’s premises.
Oamaru Club president Steve Begley said a new, modern sign had been installed at the front of the building, and the sculptures did not quite fit with the direction in which the club wanted to head.
“It was because we thought they were out of date,” he said.
“We’re trying to modernise the place a wee bit.
“They looked a bit old-fashioned, but we didn’t want to cut them up or anything like that.”Enter the Duntroon and District Development Association.
The community group held its annual meeting in October, which was followed by a public forum.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher attended the meeting and offered the sculptures to the association, a gesture which was gratefully accepted by association chairman Owen King.
“We then had to go through the process of finding the ideal spot,” Mr King said.
The sculptures, which stand more than 2m tall, have been installed on the area of grass known as the village green, a council reserve opposite the Duntroon Hotel alongside State Highway 83.
Mr Adams played a part in their installation and said the process involved the sculptures being “chipped out” of their mortar, transported to Duntroon, and then lifted and secured to concrete bases, which had been installed the previous week.
He said he was happy with the final result.
“They look quite good as you come over the bridge; it sort of hits you there.”Mr King was also impressed, and expected the area around them to be upgraded.
“They look absolutely wicked,” Mr King said.
“The backdrop is superb _ it looks like they’ve erupted out of the ground.
“In time, we’ll put a plaque on there and maybe some plantings too.”
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