Russ Tyler with the Centenary of Armistice 1918-2018 art book outside the Gayndah RSL. Credit: Sam Turner.
Russ Tyler with the Centenary of Armistice 1918-2018 art book outside the Gayndah RSL. Credit: Sam Turner.

When the guns fell silent: How Gayndah commemorated

A REVERENT and poignant book has been published on how Gayndah commemorated 100 years since World War I's ceasefire.

The publication entitled Centenary of Armistice 1918-2018 features a selection of artistic and creative pieces to honour those who fought in the great war.

It includes winning art and written entries from the Centenary of Armistice Competition held in 2018, images from Ross Driver's Road to Victory exhibition, photos from local commemoration events, and a historical poem about the Gayndah Mayor in 1915.

Gayndah RSL board member Russ Tyler spearheaded the book's creation, wanting to immortalise some of the beautiful works by the students within the Gayndah region.

"The theme for the competition was 'when the guns fell silent', and we had an evening to showcase these," Mr Tyler said.

"I had never been to an art competition or art gallery in my life, but when I went and saw all of this art, I couldn't believe how good it was.

"Following the exhibition I asked what was going to happen to the art once the night is over, and they said people just take it home and that's it."

Wanting to preserve the younger generation's tribute to World War I, Mr Tyler started the initial steps to create something special for the town.

"It developed from just a book to record the art, to more about the whole event over that weekend."

In 2018 the Remembrance day weekend featured a new street and memorial garden opening, a war memorabilia display, a parade, dinner and barbecue.

The biggest dilemma for the publishers was to determine which artworks and written entries were to be selected, according to Mr Tyler.

"We had hundreds of submissions from Gayndah State School, St Joseph's Primary, and Burnett State College.

"For us to do the artworks and written entries justice, we had to give them a page, so with that in mind we chose winners, runners up, and highly commended pieces."

The book displays special wartime moments for some families, with artists conducting research on their history with the great war.

What hit Mr Tyler deeply when collating the publication, was the sheer respect and creativity by some of the younger primary students.

"For a kid in prep, the war over 100 years ago, and to see what they've drawn and written, is just amazing."

Being made possible by a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) Grant, the book is set to be launched at a wine and cheese evening on November 8 at 7pm at the Gayndah RSL.

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