It is with great joy and excitement that the Committee of GWMM can
inform you that 70 years after WW2 the “Girl with Grit”, representing all
of the Australian Women’s Land Army members has returned. With
generous financial support from the Griffith Ex-Services Club, our local
sculptor Noel Hicks, collected his creation from the foundry in Sydney and
brought her back to Griffith, where she will find a permanent home at the
Griffith War Memorial Museum in Banna Avenue. The official unveiling of
the bust in a garden setting in front of the Museum is going to take place
on a date still to be determined.
From her position she will have a full view of the main street and probably
recognise many buildings from her time in Griffith between 1942 and
1945. She may even occasionally, still see some of her fellow AWLA girls
who settled in Griffith after WW2 and now have their own offspring.
She is here for a well-deserved rest, to sit back and reflect on her earlier
stay in Griffith as a young woman, the hardships she endured, the
beauty, vastness, ruggedness and dangers of a for her unknown country
area, the harsh weather conditions and occasional loneliness, the new
friends she made, the camaraderie, her social life and the locals. There
will be time to revisit the meeting places in Griffith; Central Café, Mona
Café, Garden of Roses Café, the Lyceum and Rio Theatre, Cinema,
Murrumbidgee River, Scenic Hill. There is the opportunity to daydream
about the places of employment and accommodation; the farms, wineries,
CSIRO, Beller’s research, Griffith Producers, Mirrool House, Ballingal,
Beelbangera, Hanwood, Yenda Camps, and her participation in Street
parades, Fund raisers, Queen Competitions, Street theatres and 2RG
Radio Broadcastings. However, one thing is for sure, Griffith has changed
dramatically since her stay between 1942 and 1945, although certain
areas from that time are still easily recognised.
As a community, Griffith’s citizens welcome the “Girl with Grit” back in
their midst and thank her and all her AWLA fellow members profoundly
for the contributions they made to Griffith, the region, NSW, Australia and
the Allied Forces by growing and providing the food that was desperately
needed during WW2. These “Girls with Grit” also ensured that this region
survived the “bad” times and made Griffith develop into the city it now is.
Further details regarding the unveiling of the “Girl with Grit” will be
published in the Area News as soon as information becomes available.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the cost of this project can do so by
contacting the Griffith War Memorial Museum’s secretary Pat Cox on
0407 485 091.