AN "iconic sculpture" of Tim Fischer on a train should impress everyone from Boree Creek "blow-ins" to wide-eyed children, the NSW Governor believes.
Margaret Beazley joined Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and other dignitaries and townsfolk to unveil the three-dimensional image of the late politician, farmer and diplomat at Boree Creek on Sunday.
An estimated 200 people, including the former Deputy Prime Minister's relatives, gathered at the Tim Fischer Community Park for the event which was postponed from last year because of COVID-19.
Ms Beazley joined Mr McCormack, member for Farrer Sussan Ley, member for Albury Justin Clancy and Federation Mayor Pat Bourke in making speeches.
"For many decades to come, many locals and all those blow-ins, the tourists and the nomads, the grey ones, the teens taking the selfies and the wide-eyed children will all examine the intricacies of this work...and will learn for the first time about Boree Creek's own quintessential Australian, Tim Fischer, captured here down to the very last bolt....in what is a truly iconic sculpture," Ms Beazley said.
Mr McCormack contrasted moves to remove statues of contested historic figures with the installation of Mr Fischer's likeness.
"Thankfully there is no wokeness at Boree Creek and we are today unveiling a statue in memory of a man who was a great Australian, will always be a great Australian," Mr McCormack said.
"Indeed many Australians don't even know that they are alive today thanks to Tim Fischer..
"Tim helped to introduce gun laws which kept our nation safe, very controversial at the time, perhaps indeed for some still controversial, but correct."
Mr Fischer's brother Tony spoke for the family, thanking Federation Council for the $40,000 work created by Urana artist Andrew Whitehead.
He urged youngsters to follow the lead of his sibling.
"Be curious, be listeners but also be helpers when you can and be honest and genuine, attitudes which he displayed in abundance, and will guide you in the face of many challenges in life here in the bush, across Australia and also across the wider world," Dr Fischer said.
Cr Bourke said the statue would be a "constant reminder" of Mr Fischer's passion for his people and his community and reflection of his legacy.
Speaking to The Border Mail after the unveiling, Mr Fischer's wife Judy Brewer said it was hard for her to look at the statue, given how true to life it was in capturing her husband's appearance.
"The artistry is really just extraordinary," Ms Brewer said.
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"The first time I saw just his face, his nose being welded and made, even just his eyes, I knew it was him.
"It was like him bursting out of this sculpture and so many are not like that.
"It could have been very different, but thanks to Andrew's genius it's perfect."
Mr Whitehead said he was very relieved to have the work installed, noting mice in his shed had started gnawing at epoxy on the statue.
"The biggest reward was when the family said I've achieved a likeness," Mr Whitehead said.
"That was the key ingredient, the rest didn't matter if I didn't get that right."
Mr Fischer's Vietnam War platoon mates Phillip Anderson, of Bowral, and Bob Towers, of Wodonga, were thrilled with the art which includes a green star representing the unit citation for gallantry they received.
"It's fantastic and to have a statue of him sitting in on a locomotive, I think that would have made Tim's day," Mr Anderson said.
Mr Fischer's relative Joseph Guthrie, who says he was the catalyst for his cousin's love of trains, travelled from the Mornington Peninsula for the occasion.
"I think he would be very impressed with it, it's very well done," Mr Guthrie said of the statue.
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