Bronze “Bill the Bastard” unveiling

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has welcomed the official unveiling of a bronze, life-size sculpture of Australia’s greatest war horse, ‘Bill the Bastard’, at a ceremony in Harden Murrumburrah.

Ms Cooke said it was fantastic to see the statue in-situ at Murrumburrah, the birthplace of the Australian Light Horse.

“This project has been a long time in the works and is an absolute credit to the dedication and perseverance of many deeply passionate members in this community.

“Bill is a source of great pride for all involved and an absolute drawcard to Harden Murrumburrah and the Hilltops region more broadly.”

The project was made possible thanks to over $400,000 in funding from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Fund.

Major donations and contributions alongside that of the NSW Government were:

  • $200,000 raised amongst the local community,
  • $100,000 from the Kruger Trust,
  • $80,000 from Harden Regional Development Corporation,
  • $30,000 from Mr Bill Gibbons of Victoria.

The ‘Bill the Bastard’ statue was created by local sculptor Mr Carl Valerius and bronzed by Mr Matt Crawford of Crawford’s Casting.

Speaking at the unveiling, Mr Valerius said it was a fabulous outcome for the community.

“To have an idea and believe in it, you can achieve almost anything. I thank the State Government for their support and belief in a little old sculpture in a town like Murrumburrah.”

Special guests present at the ceremony also included Brigadier Glen Ryan from Victoria Barracks in Sydney, along with 97yr old Mr Keith Taylor who travelled from Uranquinty for the occasion.

The sculpture of ‘Bill the Bastard’ and his five riders can be found at the 1st Australian Horse and Australian Light Horse Memorial precinct in Murrumburrah.

For more information, please visit Home – Bill the Bastard.

New Cricket Facilities in Murrumburrah Now Open

Harden and District Junior Cricket Club is ready to challenge for more titles and welcome further participants following the completion of new cricket nets and an upgraded centre wicket at their facility at Murrumburrah Public School.

The $95,000 project was made possible with contributions from the NSW Government’s Local Sport Grant Program, the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund in partnership with Cricket Australia, the Geoffrey Kruger Trust and Hilltops Council.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the upgrades will ensure all players can enjoy the game in a fun and safe environment.

“This project will deliver fit-for-purpose facilities that meet the needs of the local community and provide greater safety for our junior players,” Ms Cooke said.

“Cricket is a much-loved game across our towns and villages and these upgrades will ensure the game continues to grow by providing a fun and inclusive environment.”

General Manager Hilltops Council Anthony O’Reilly said Hilltops Council acknowledge the importance of community sport and access to sporting opportunities.

“We are pleased to have supported the Harden and District Junior Cricket Club via our Financial Assistance and Sponsorship Program to deliver this important project,” Mr O’Reilly said.

Minister for Sport Natalie Ward said the project was a great example of how the Local Sport Grant Program is supporting the growth of regular and ongoing participation opportunities.

“The NSW Government has provided more than $25 million to support 4,878 grassroots sports club projects over six years through the Local Sport Grant Program,” Mrs Ward said.

“I’m proud to see the positive impact it’s having on participation by improving access and enhancing facilities so that more people across NSW can enjoy all the benefits sport has to offer.”

Cricket NSW Chief Executive Officer Lee Germon said the new and upgraded facilities will help to foster the love of cricket in the local community.

“These facilities will not only ensure more locals can play and love our game, but it will also enhance the development of junior cricketers in the local community,” Mr Germon said.

“These projects are often not possible without a partnership approach to funding, and we are very appreciative for the support of the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund in partnership with Cricket Australia for their significant contribution, in addition to the Geoffrey Kruger Trust, Local Sport Grant Program and Hilltops Council.”

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