By Mick Jensen
Rakaia has the salmon, Ohakune the carrot, Springfield the doughnut and now Hinds has its own eye-catching sculpture – a pair of giant hinds.
The larger-than-life female deer stand proudly and with ears alert on the edge of the domain and rugby grounds in the township. They can be clearly seen from State Highway One.
The impressive statues have been commissioned by the Hinds Lions and funded by the Lions and former Lowcliffe farmer Alan Taggart to celebrate the Hinds community.
Mr Taggart suggested a project for Hinds in the late 1990s to mark the millennium, but the limestone carving depicting a farm scene was done instead.
Mr Taggart was at the unveiling this week attended by members of the Hinds community, school pupils and Ashburton District council.
“They are absolutely marvellous and beyond all my belief on how they would turn out,” Mr Taggart said.
“So congratulations to the Hinds Lions, particularly Kevin Jackson for seeing the project through to the finish.”
Local school children will help plant natives grasses to further beautify the domain corner and have been assured that the life-like female deer will not be tempted to eat any of it.
The hinds sculptures were crafted by local man Clive Seddon, also at the unveiling, who has been making wildlife sculptures for over 50 years.
Mr Seddon said he was very happy with the finished products.
They were one and a half times life size and had been completed on and off over a period of six months.
He had used photos provided by the Hinds Lions and has also received input from deer farmers in the Hinds area.
One hind weighed in at 420kg, while the other was a bit smaller and weighed 350kg.
Mr Seddon said he had used ferro cement, a steel rod frame and six layers of half inch bird netting to form the shape.
The quick-setting concrete outer layer had been shaped quickly as it was applied.
A base coat of paint had been added by hand and a top coat sprayed on.
The sculptures would stand up well to the elements and would last between 50 and 100 years, he said.
Mr Seddon said he had completed a number of deer sculptures over the years and had also produced works in fibreglass, composites, bronze and metal.