A granite monument on the shores of Lake Jindabyne, commemorating the remarkable contribution of songs written by Ulick O’Boyle to the history of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, will be unveiled on Saturday by the Member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly.
O'Boyle came from Ireland. He was born there on February 19, 1932, and after schooling, did his national service in the British Army Medical Corp, where he trained as a radiographer.
He was also a middleweight boxing champion in the army and a successful amateur boxer in Britain, Canada and the US before coming to Australia in 1962.
He found work on the Snowy scheme, first as a concrete labourer and later as a first-aid officer by virtue of his radiography training.
O’Boyle, who worked on the Scheme for five years, wrote more than 60 songs tracking the personalities, fun times and heartaches of Snowy workers on a total of six albums, most notably the original two records, Songs of the Snowy Mountains and More Songs of the Snowy Mountains, produced in 1966 and 1967 by RCA Australia.
These collections have become an integral part of the history of the Snowy Scheme and of Australia’s national heritage.
The monument, made from a Snowy granite boulder weighing almost one tonne, was the brain child of Ulick’s daughter, Shannon, her mother, Anne Holt, and husband, Gary McCarthy.
The engraving on a polished side of the boulder is by stonemasons, Kell & Denson Stoneworks, of Tumut.
“The thought had always been in my head that there was no recognition of Ulick and his music and its significance to the history of the Snowy Scheme,” Shannon said.
“So this is a very special occasion for us.
“No-one else has charted the history of the Scheme in the way that Ulick did.
“The first Snowy song he wrote was Jindabyne Farewell, which lamented the flooding of old Jindabyne, so it is fitting that the monument is located here.”
O’Boyle formed a group, called The Settlers, and two of the original members, Anne Holt and Paul Davey, will be present at the unveiling.
The monument is located beside the Strzelecki Monument in Banjo Paterson Park, opposite the main Jindabyne shopping centre.
Information celebrations will continue after the unveiling at the Lake Jindabyne Hotel.
The unveiling ceremony will begin at 1pm on Saturday.