Laura, C.J. Dennis, The Sentimental Bloke.

Road Trip Day 9: 31st May 2007 (Morning)

Rose and I managed to leave Peterborough in good time enroute to Laura and the C. J. Dennis Statue we'd tried to find in Auburn and Mintaro.

Peterborough is actually an important town in its own right with a strong history of the railway in South Australia. I know Rose wanted to look around more but we had a lot of ground to cover. As much as it would be nice to stop in every town we passed through (and there are many that look very interesting) you just have to hope you'll maybe get back another time.

We made our way down to the town of Laura (via Jamestown) in just under an hour. The town describes its self as the 'home of poet C. J. Dennis during his formative years', implying that he probably moved later in life. However C. J. Dennis is quoted describing his stay in Laura thus:

"Of all country places I know. Laura still remains for me the place of most pleasant memory..."

Hence, Laura can quite rightly claim C. J. Dennis as one of their own.

Had we entered the town from the main road we would've seen the statue straight away but, having followed an unsealed road that cut about 10-15 minutes off our travel time we arrived in the middle of the main street, turning in from a side road. A quick stop in the town's information centre and we were finally about to see the elusive C. J.

From the photo we had of the statue I had my suspicions that it was going to be small. It looked as if the statue had been photographed from a low angle in order to make it tower over a roof in the photos background. With no person in the photo to compare scale with, it just looked small.

The statue is located at the 'Dick Biles Gallery', home of the 'Big Bloke' sculpture. Big is an understatement. The statue, which is actually a sculpture made entirely from copper, is towering at four metres tall (that's gotta be close to 11 feet high!). Created by Adelaide artist David Griffiths it is certainly a fitting and some what imposing monument to C. J. Dennis, author of 'The Sentimental Bloke'.

Had the sculpture been small I think Rose and I would've been a little disappointed but, not expecting such a large structure, we both felt this had been worth the side trip to see.

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