Valley Gallery

St James community officially open silo art

By Simon Ruppert

Hundreds lined the main street of the small town of St James on Sunday, April 28 to witness the official opening of its new silo art.

The silos, which were painted by Benalla’s Tim Bowtell, are the latest in the north-east to become part of the silo art trail.

Silo art committee president Jim Kelly said the artwork was a range of images that epitomised St James, and paid homage to the town’s history.

A major part of that history was the opening of the first store by Sir George James ‘GJ’ Coles, and his youngest daughter Jan was there to cut the ribbon.

She told the crowd some stories about her father and his fondness for St James.

‘‘Thank you so much, this has been just amazing,’’ she said as she cut the ribbon and declared the silo art open.

There were several speakers on the day including representatives of Coles and GrainCorp.

However, the biggest round of applause was saved for the committee, whose hard work made the project a success.

Mr Kelly thanked all who had supported the project before giving a special mention to committee member Kathy Beattie.

‘‘This project might not have happened if it had not been for Kathy,’’ Mr Kelly said.

‘‘We all did our part, but I think she did about 98 per cent of the work.

‘‘There were frustrations, red tape and legalities that had to be addressed. There were times when hands were just thrown up in the air. But we persisted and we’re here today.

‘‘We appreciate the co-operation of GrainCorp and Moira Shire, and we express our gratitude to the people of St James.

‘‘And then there’s our artist Tim Bowtell.

‘‘We did not know a lot about Tim, but our confidence was rewarded in spades.

‘‘Tim was very modest and understanding, he worked hard with great skill and the results are here behind me for all to see.’’