The official opening isn’t until August 12, but the barricades have been cleared from the Tumut Community Labyrinth for Peace and it is now free for the public to use.
One of the key organisers of the Tumut Community Labyrinth, Louise Halsey, said the group’s hard work in bringing the new feature in Pioneer Park to fruition had been worth it.
“After some very intense weeks of laying pavers, cleaning and landscaping by a terrific landscape team the marvellous gift to the community is now accessible for all to use for whatever purpose – be it meditation, exercise, or simply enjoying a very beautiful park and surroundings,” she said.
The last pavers to be laid were those mimicking the eight planets as they were on Armistice Day, 1918, in the southern sky over Rotary Pioneer Park. The planets are represented by local stones including Tumut marble, Adelong granite, quartz, and basalt within the Wee Jasper bluestone that makes up the majority of the labyrinth’s construction material.
In a gesture symbolic of the importance of a united community, invited guests placed the stones representing the planets into the surface.
“To lay the planets a diverse group of community representatives came together,” said Ms Halsey.
“The representatives were from early pioneer and pastoral families, local industry and commerce, consultants, Rotarians, Blakeney Millar Trustees, children, council parks and gardens, education, health, Sounds of the Mountains, artisans and the men who have created the labyrinth with such care and pride.”
In recognising the contribution of the men and women of the Tumut district during wartime, symbols from those conflicts are embedded in the labyrinth. These include soil from Western Front Hill 60, pieces of the Lone Pine, a horse shoe recognising all those horses that went to war and did not return, a dog collar for the important role dogs played as companions, a 60th WWII anniversary medal and a photo and letter from the front from a WWII soldier to his mother.
The labyrinth is a joint project between the Rotary Club of Tumut and the Blakeney Millar Foundation. Tim Oliver, Blakeney Millar Foundation Chair and Rotary Club President, said he hoped the community would appreciate the shared space now available to them for a variety of uses.
“As labyrinths are designed to promote respectful contemplation, we hope all those who use the labyrinth will do so with courtesy towards others who are also undertaking its journey and simply enjoy using the extraordinary community asset,” he said.
On August 12 an open invitation will be extended to all the community to come, celebrate, and commemorate all those who have contributed in so many ways to Tumut and district in times of both peace and conflict.