Sculptor to create life-sized statue of World War 1 trooper

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Oamaru sculptor Don Paterson is set to create another of his well-known historical character works.

He has been commissioned to produce a sculpture of a trooper from the 8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles leaving to serve in World War 1.

When finished, the statue will stand in Fairlie’s main street near the Gladstone Hotel.

“It’s quite exciting really,” Mr Paterson said, although he noted there was a sombre note attached, given the number of those who were killed in World War 1.

Mr Paterson has produced a wax model of how the life-sized statue would look and this would be used to help gain sponsorship.

The project organisers have raised some of the $30,000 required for the project to be completed, but more is required.

The sculpture will depict a trooper with his kit waiting to catch a train to go to the war.

The Gladstone Hotel is located opposite the site of the former Fairlie Railway Station.

The 8th SC Mounted Rifles served at Gallipoli and in Sinai and Palestine during World War 1.

Mr Paterson has more than 20 civic works displayed around the country, which include seafarer Captain Cain in Timaru, French artist Charles Meryon in Akaroa, surveyor T.J. Thomson in Ranfurly, the bushman in Waimate and children at play outside the Fendalton Library in Christchurch.

In Oamaru, he produced the man seated on the penny-farthing at the Friendly Bay playgound.

He has moved recently to a new studio in Humber St after having been based at Gillies.

By CHRIS TOBIN