Amiens Legacy Centre
Below is information about each of the features that make up the Amiens Legacy Centre.
The stone sign
Precariously balanced on signature granite rocks conveys the sign that announces you have arrived at the Amiens Legacy Centre. The official entrance is 50m further down on your left, and leads to a parking area, but this sign is the first thing you'll see as you turn that last corner where Amiens Rd changes its name to Goldfield's Rd. Lifted into place by the Amiens History Group's own stonemason, Alec Harslett, these stone signs are a lasting tribute to the granite rock formations that shape the area known as the Granite Belt, as well as a lasting memory of your visit.
The railway carriage
Lovingly restored, this 1920's railway carriage sits atop newly laid railway line as an indicative symbol and tribute to the site that was the Amiens Railway Precinct in the days of the Pikedale Soldiers' Settlement Scheme. What seemed like an unending, dauntless task, took just over twelve months and couldn't have been completed without the input and assistance of over 100 volunteers who joined the project at various times. The result, is a beautiful tribute to not only the returned soldiers' era, but also to those men who worked for Qld Rail on the Amiens-Cottonvale branch line, who served overseas and never returned.
The topiary train
Very much a work in progress, as our newly planted westringia plants try to grow in drought conditions, but we haven't lost one yet. When fully grown they will be shaped into the shape of a steam train engine to perfectly complement the neighbouring carriage.
The topiary train - rail carriages
Further down the topiary train you can see, and use, the 'railway carriage' picnic tables. You can use this feature as a focal point of your drive to Amiens, to have a rest and take in the serenity. Larger groups can enjoy a topiary train picnic table experience by appointment by contacting the Amiens History Association. Historical tours and talks can be arranged, as can refreshments for morning tea or lunch.
The Passchendaele Shed
Betraying it's origins in its name, the Passchendaele Shed started its life as a forestry barracks building in the Passchendaele State Forest forestry precinct. Surplus to needs, she became available for the Amiens History Association to purchase and relocate at the Amiens Legacy Centre. The building now enjoys a second life, serving as a meeting room for the group and a room where historical talks can be conducted.
The Soldier Settler family sculpture
Another marvel at what can be achieved with granite rock, this sculpture portrays a soldier settler family scene in amazing detail.
Lovingly created by local sculptor Gabrielle Trabucco, this sculpture stands as a tribute to all the soldier settler families who settled in the area following WW1 and beyond. It is a true asset to the Amiens Legacy Centre.
Amenities at ALC
Once step closer to opening the Amiens Legacy Centre to the public was the installation of amenities for public use. This demure building showcases its rural influences and fits in with the meshing of architectural styles at the Amiens Legacy Centre.
These amenities are fully accessible ensuring all can visit the Amiens Legacy Centre in comfort.
In September 2019 the Amiens City Council voted to build a bridge in the Amiens Plant Garden in Amiens, France. The French Bailey Bridge is donated by the Royal Australian Army Corps of Engineers. It recalls the Battle of Cerisy on 8 August 1918 when Australian Engineers built a bridge, which was crucial to the outcome of the battle.
So now, the Bailey 'look-alike' Bridge is installed at the Amiens Legacy Centre to allow pedestrians access to the centre from the carpark. This symbolic work has been built in honour of the Australian Engineers of World War I and stands as a symbol of the friendship between Amiens in France and Amiens in Australia. The final design was devised by local volunteer Ron Bell and local builder Dennis Ritchie was involved in construction and procured the timber for the project. The Bailey Bridge is a very useful addition to the Amiens Legacy Centre and we welcome all who cross her.
The 26th July 2020 marked the official unveiling by Mayor Vic Pennisi of a significant art work at the Amiens Legacy Centre. ‘Forging A Future After The Trenches,’ is an original monochromatic painting by local artist Franco Arcidiacono. Franco has a long standing history with the Stanthorpe district predominately as a school teacher and now, in his retirement as an accomplished artist. The mural draws the viewer’s eye and gives one a glimpse into the life of a soldier settler and his family. As with most Western literature, the story unfolds by following the painting from the left to the right. It depicts the ex-soldiers past, present and future and has been beautifully executed.
Extract: Southern Free Times
This stunning leadlight was made for the Amiens History Association by Morwenna Arcidiacono for the opening of the Amiens Legacy Centre in 2018. It sits pride of place at the entrance into the railway carriage.
Quilt of remembrance
This is another artefact for which the Amiens History Assn Inc is a custodian. We are so lucky to have so many talented ladies on the Granite Belt who delight in creating superb works of art. Take the Quart Pot Quilters; when Betsy Pay decided she wanted to make the Remembrance Quilt to donate to the Amiens Legacy Centre, the Quart Pot Quilters elected to sponsor her and Kerrie McGlashan, who did the quilting. Once the quilting was finished, Betsy assembled it to its present beauty. Betsy and her late husband grew the Flanders Poppy on their Boulder Downs property at Amiens and always liked the flower.
This Quilt of Remembrance by Pam Bono Designs was chosen as a perfect pattern to represent the sacrifices and hardships of our soldier settlers during WW1. The pattern was designed by Robert and Pam Bono in honour of all troops, veterans and their friends and families throughout the world. It is a beautiful creation crafted with much love. The fact that the world has not learned a single lesson from all the pain, suffering and waste of young lives over the last century probably means that this quilt will be being created for years to come.
When you visit The Amiens Legacy Centre at 17 Goldfields Rd, Amiens, on any Sunday between 10 am and 1 pm you will have the opportunity to marvel at this queen size quilt which is on display in the carriage. The generosity of Betsy and Kerry and the Quart Pot Quilters is appreciated by all members of the Amiens History Assn Inc and this work of art is an exceptional treasure to be marvelled at by every visitor who visits The Amiens Legacy Centre in the future.
In 2017, local artist Jan Mau presented AHA with a magnificent painting she had been working on over the past few months. Jan explained to the group what the painting meant to her as she was painting it, but as you examine all the features within the painting, you can see how it would mean different things to different people. AHA are very grateful for Jan's generous gift.
In Jan's own words, she expresses her feelings about this painting:
"In 2016, just after ANZAC day, I had an idea for a painting where the battlefield of the Past, the Present, and the Future came together in a simple representation. it has taken a year to complete it. Not because of the painting's technical difficulties - it's a simple painting. one which could be described as 'naive' in style. No, the difficulty lay in the content. How could I 'talk' to those soldiers and let them know that they are not forgotten? how could I touch on the complacency that creeps in over the years? How could I show that the lives of future generations appreciate the costly sacrifices they made? The picture I have painted is my attempt to convey all of these things. I have not been able to put a title on this painting. All I know, is how my heart feels and the emotions I felt as I worked on this painting. I wish I could reach out to one of those soldiers, as the little girl is doing in the painting. She represents the future, secured by those who fought. The giving of the red poppy is a symbol of our deep heartfelt appreciation for all they endured, for so many. As I look a this scene, I wonder ... in painting it, have I perhaps painted myself - the child extending the poppy and saying 'thank you'. Perhaps the child is you?
"Lest we forget."
Janice N Mau
Painting completed 25th April 2017 ANCAC Day
Presented to the Amiens History Association 16 May 2017