27 March, 2020
Honour the past, have a future
AMONG THE trees and peaceful ambiance of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame gardens, several sandstone walls continue to memorialise lives lost on the land - standing as a reminder to never disregard the past.
Since the monument’s opening in May 2011, the Eternal Muster Memorial remembers those who have passed away and honours their legacy through leaf-shaped plaques. More than 100 plaques occupy the walls, noting the individual or family’s name, describing their personality, and leaving heartfelt quotes honouring the deceased’s life.
The memorial was initially created to honour Richard Estcourt, a young man who passed away in 2008 from a mustering accident near Normanton. Rosemary Champion, daughter of one of the Hall of Fame’s founders, was contacted by the late Richard’s father, Tony Estcourt, who wanted his son to be remembered.
Being a key individual in the memorial’s creation, Rosemary believes everyone has an amazing story and that they should be remembered after they are gone, no matter what branch of life they come from.
“It’s a lovely, quiet place, somewhere people can come together and celebrate life,” Mrs Champion said. “It’s about recognising people who made our country great - early pioneers & recent Australians.”
Occupants of the Muster Memorial consist of people from all walks of life, broadened to anyone who has a love for the bush, the bush heritage, or want their loved ones to be remembered.
“The memorial is open to anybody and at the end of the day, everyone has Australian heritage,” Mrs Champion said. “It tells the story of demographics all over Australia and represents someone from every state. “Family legacies are continued and generations of families are remembered. Everybody needs to be remembered somewhere.
“If you don’t honour the past, you don’t have a future.”