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Wellington Cenotaph, Gilbert Doble – Dubbo Regional Council

Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment

ROJECT OVERVIEW

Located in Cameron Park, Wellington NSW, the Wellington Cenotaph was designed by the renowned sculptor Gilbert Doble, and unveiled on the 24th May 1933. It commemorates those who served in the First and Second World Wars, as well as the Vietnam War. The Cenotaph features three copper electrolyte type sculptural figures: the sword-wielding ‘Winged Victory’, the ‘Spirit of Australia’ as it embarked on WWI, and the embodiment of ‘History’. Attached copper alloy honour rolls on the walls of the monument list the names of those who served during the three conflicts. Three tiers of masonry steps ascend a grassy knoll, leading to a circular path of decomposed granite. From this path, three additional steps lead up to the Cenotaph, which is insulated in landscaped parkland and accessed via a set of memorial gates.

The significant task of repairing the memorial was co-funded by Dubbo Regional Council and $40,000 from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure fund. Following an open-tender process O’Sullivan Conservation was engaged to undertake the restoration work in 2021.

Preserving the Cenotaph and its historical significance required a comprehensive and meticulous conservation treatment. The treatment began with a gentle wet clean of the monument, and hand
cleaning to remove dirt, dust, and debris from the surface. Mechanical reduction of staining and careful removal of adhesive residues and other deposits followed. A biocide was then applied to the stonework to counteract areas of biological growth. The treatment included the complete removal and replacement of the failing pointing in the masonry, following testing and confirmation that there was no asbestos-containing material present.

A comprehensive conservation treatment was undertaken for the copper alloy elements, including corrosion treatment, removal and replacement of failing and inappropriate previous repairs, seam repairs, and the hot wax application as a protective measure. Local artist, Brett ‘Mon’ Garling, was
engaged to fabricate a replacement solid bronze little ‘pinky’ finger for ‘Victory’, to align with the main body of the sculpture. The copper alloy plaques were cleaned and waxed, and loose and misspelled lettering was carefully reinstated in consultation with Council personnel and referencing
the NSW War Memorials Register.

For those who wish to delve deeper, the NSW War Memorials Register has further information:
Wellington Cenotaph – NSW War Memorials Register

Further information on the project can be found at: Winged Victory Revival – Dubbo Regional Council

Additionally, a time-lapse video of the work being undertaken can be found on O’Sullivan Conservation’ s YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/CKEJWzNIkFI? si=iH0rjT0aZSZ9T23F

BEFORE
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW conservation before treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW conservation over paint removal
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW conservation over paint removal
Conservation colour matching mosaic tiles
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW Dalton Building during restoration
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW Dalton Building during restoration
DURING
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW conservation after treatment
Douglas Annand UNSW Dalton Building after conservation
Douglas Annand UNSW Dalton Building after conservation
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment
AFTER
Douglas Annand mosaic UNSW conservation after treatment
Douglas Annand UNSW mosaic conservation after treatment
Douglas Annand UNSW mosaic conservation after treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment
Douglas Annand Mosaic UNSW restoration after treatment

Have a question?

O'Sullivan Conservation we provide expert conservation and preservation services that maintain and sustain cultural heritage. If you have a question about a project, give us a call on 0419 380 065 or alternatively fill out the enquiry form and we will get back to you promptly.

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O’Sullivan Conservation acknowledges that we operate and function on the lands of the Darkinjung people.

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

We are proud partners of Reconciliation NSW and support reconciliation in our community.