Latest Lennie book to be launched

THE sister of Leongatha hero Lennie Gwyther is the latest author to publish a book about the boy who rode his pony to Sydney in 1932.

Beryl Ferrier’s book, Encore Lennie – The Story Behind the Statue, details how the community raised funds to erect a statue of Lennie and his pony Ginger Mick at Rotary Park, Anderson Street on October 14, 2017.

The public is invited to the launch of the book this Saturday, December 8 at Leongatha RSL at 2.30pm, at which Ms Ferrier will be present. She will travel from her home on the Gold Coast in Queensland for the occasion.

Lennie was just nine when he rode 1000km on horseback to Sydney to witness the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as a reward for caring for his family’s farm at Koonwarra after his father was injured.

The book is a tribute to Ms Ferrier’s niece, Julie Campbell of Mardan, who encouraged her to meet then mayor of South Gippsland Shire Council, Bob Newton, to discuss Mr Newton’s proposal for a statue.

He drove the campaign to erect the statue, with a committee of dedicated volunteers.

Ms Campbell said of the statue, “I’m thrilled that it was recognised like this because it’s such an incredible story. When I tell people that my uncle rode to Sydney as a nine year old boy, you can tell they think, ‘Sure’.”

Peter Lalor’s book The Bridge, published in 2006, is an account of the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and includes a chapter about Lennie’s epic journey.

Mary Small later wrote the book Lennie’s Ride, inspired after seeing a photo of Lennie at the 75th anniversary of the opening of the bridge.

“Until Peter Lalor’s and Mary Small’s books, less than 99 percent of Leongatha would have known of the story of Lennie. It’s amazing to think he could ride from Leongatha to Sydney,” Ms Campbell said.

An addition to the statue is planned; a billboard with greater detail of Lennie’s journey will be erected over it, in a frame in the shape of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


Historical event: Julie Campbell, the niece of Lennie Gwyther and his sister Beryl Ferrier, at the statue of Lennie as a boy and his pony Ginger Mick in Leongatha.
She has a copy of Ms Ferrier’s book, Encore Lennie – The Story Behind the Statue, which will be launched at Leongatha RSL this Saturday, December 8, at 2.30pm.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=26812

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