FAMOUS Australian writer and poet Henry Lawson left an ever-lasting mark on Leeton shire.
With this in mind, Leeton Shire Council has decided to throw open the doors to the Henry Lawson Cottage to mark the centenary of his stay in the town.
Lawson spent almost two years in Leeton after being employed to write articles and poems publicising the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area.
He was paid two guineas a week and given board at a cottage in Daalbata Road.
That cottage was restored in recent times to reflect the colonial period and act as a tourist destination for visitors to Leeton.
The property almost found its way to the scrap heap, but a hard-working committee and generous donations ensured it was able to be restored to its former glory. It is now home to visiting medical students, ensuring their is an income made from the cottage.
Councillor George Weston has been a passionate supporter in ensuring Lawson’s time in Leeton isn’t forgotten.
He said the centenary open day would provide residents with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the cottage, as well as learning more about his history in Leeton.
“I think some people know he was here and others don’t,” Cr Weston said.
“The open day is a good time for everyone to come and have a look.
“It’s important we don't lose this history in our town.
“Henry Lawson was and still is recognised for his work.
“Not only that, but with his publicity that was distributed during the war, it encouraged solider settlers to come here. It’s all linked to the heritage and history of our town.”
Lawson produced around 30 poems and 10 prose sketches during his time in Leeton. Not all were related to the area, but there were two important pieces titled Leeton Town and A Letter from Leeton.
The open day will include the unveiling of a new interpretive sign that will allow smartphone users to be directed to a website for more information on Lawson.
As well as the “open house” there will also be readings of Lawson’s work.
The event will be held on June 12 from 10am to 5pm, with afternoon tea at 2pm.