Sculpture Celebrates 100 Years of Christ Church Boys
Three new ‘boys’ began life at Christ Church last week although they represent students from the past 100 years. The figures, a permanent sculpture installation created by WA artist Tony Jones OAM, are a centenary gift to the School from the Old Boys’ Association.
Stand By Me was unveiled in front of more than 200 people, mostly old boys, who gathered for the official presentation on Saturday afternoon.
Tony, who also happens to be a past student of Christ Church (Class of 1962), was commissioned to create the work after an Australia-wide tender process. His other iconic WA works include the bronze statue Eliza in the Swan River and a sculpture of CY O’Connor at Fremantle.
Tony said while his old classroom had gone his memories of school days at Christ Church had informed his work. The three figures capture the character of the alpha boy, the naughty boy and the cultured boy. For Tony, they are subtitled Bruce, Tim and Jim after his friends from CCGS of 50 years ago.
Tony said the title of the sculpture was inspired by a line from the film of the same name, based on the Stephen King novella The Body: “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12.”
He said the figures represented the memories and character of boys over 100 years. “They do not refer to anyone directly but stories can be freely imposed on them. Hopefully they will come to be owned by the boys - a bit like Eliza.”
After the unveiling, 1000 old boys attended the Old Boys’ Centenary Celebration Dinner at Challenge Stadium. It was the biggest reunion of past students the School has ever had. Headmaster Garth Wynne invited John Utting (1934) and Patrick Mackenzie (2009), the oldest and youngest old boys respectively in attendance, on stage to shake hands.