Wandin trail murals

Norm Orr with granddaughter Isla and the Orr family mural. 209748 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Jed Lanyon

Another mural project is underway along the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail, which will highlight the history of Wandin and some of the township’s early families and institutions.

The Wandin Station Mural Project commenced late last year and will soon join other mural projects along the rail trail in Warburton and Woori Yallock.

Launching Place resident Norm Orr is the man behind the murals, helping coordinate each project, but Wandin’s mural project is closer to the heart as his ancestors were early settlers in the town.

“It’s pretty special to me because my grandmother was part of one of the original founding families of Wandin,” he said.

“I’m next to certain that her dad was involved in building the original Warburton Highway. It’s pretty cool to think how my ancestors are involved out here, where I ended up. I didn’t know that when I bought my block in 1980.

“I’ve got two children that now live on what was Rouget land. Both of them live in Wandin on either side of the highway.”

Mr Orr’s mural depicts his grandmother, Rosa Victoria Orr (nee Rouget) as well as what he believes to be an image of Rosa’s father, Alex Rouget, helping construct the Warburton Highway.

The Orr family visited Rosa’s completed mural last week, including 11 month old Isla, who can now see the image of her great-great-grandmother.

Mr Orr plans to have about 60 murals in Wandin and is now reaching out to the community to help put the project together.

“The murals are to depict historical aspects of Wandin and surrounds and can feature people, buildings, events, organisations or groups. We invite local residents past and present to come on board and sponsor their own mural.”

Mr Orr said that sponsors can supply their own photos or they are able to source them from other locations such as Mont De Lancey Historical Homestead, who have a selection of historical photographs.

The selected photos will then be painted as a mural by local artists Brad Colling and Peter Van Bruegel and placed along the platform at the former Wandin Station.

“We are very happy to welcome locals on board and those already involved include Wandin Rotary, Mont De Lancey Museum, Wandin Seville Financial Services and Wandin Yallock and Wandin North Primary Schools.”

The mural projects are backed by Yarra Ranges Council as councillor Tony Stevenson joined Mr Orr and other sponsors to view the few completed murals on Thursday 18 June.

“The mural projects are a great community initiative that celebrates the history, and character, of towns such as Wandin, while also being educational for those visiting the area,” Mr Stevenson said.

“I encourage anyone who uses the Lilydale-Warburton Rail Trail to stop and take a minute to check out the murals next time you’re going through Wandin, and learn more about this beautiful area which has a rich farming history dating back to the 1860s.”

Wandin Seville Financial Services director Graeme Prime said, “This area has such a rich pioneer history with many of the original settler families still represented in our community or nearby. Others have moved away but retain an interest in the area.”

He invites people to support the project in celebrating the natural beauty, settlement and development of the district.

“We have over 60 murals to fill and are confident they can be filled by the many family members of founding families such as the Rougets, Burgis, Gaudions and Sebires,” Mr Prime said.

Mr Orr said he envisages the towns of Seville and Millgrove to join the mural trail in the future, linking up with Wandin, Woori Yallock and Warburton.

“My aim is that I would like to see the rail trail turned into a mural trail.”

Anyone who wishes to get involved in the project to sponsor a mural can contact Mr Orr on 0408 592 504 or normanorr@bigpond.com