Site Search

Uiver statuette comes home

Thursday 3 December 2020
Albury’s close connection with the Netherlands will be reinforced this week, with the arrival of a statuette celebrating the city’s role in the remarkable story of the Uiver.

The statuette is a replica of a bronze and marble sculpture presented to the Mayor of Amsterdam by the Mayor of Albury, Alfred Waugh, in 1935.

The Uiver made international headlines during the London to Melbourne MacRobertson International Centenary Air Race of 1934, when bad weather forced the aircraft to make an emergency night landing on the Albury racecourse. It landed safely thanks to Albury residents who hurried to the scene to illuminate an emergency landing strip with car headlights.

After the Uiver crashed in Iraq later that year, the people of Albury raised money to commission renowned sculptor Paul Montford to create the statuette as a gift of condolence to the people of the Netherlands.

The Montford statuette comprising a bronze female figure with outstretched arm represents Australia protecting a crowned rampant lion, signifying the Kingdom of the Netherlands sitting atop a marble plinth. The rope held by the female figure is symbolic of the help that was rendered to the distressed flyers. On the plinth’s side is a plaque with the words ‘GOD SPEED’ and a scene of Albury townsfolk pulling the Uiver with ropes.

The Uiver’s journey had a lasting effect with visits and gifts being exchanged between Albury and the Netherlands, creating ongoing international ties.

The story is now told through a wide range of artefacts and other items at the LibraryMuseum.

In March 2019, AlburyCity commissioned Amsterdam Museum to create a bronze and marble replica of the original statuette, with the work undertaken in the Netherlands throughout 2019 and 2020.

The replica statuette has now arrived in Albury and, with its original plaster maquette, is now on display in the foyer of the AlburyCity Administration Building, further fostering links between the Albury and Dutch communities.