Field family sports cupboard carved 1924, Launceston Church Grammar School


Field family sports cupboard, Launceston Church Grammar School.

Field family sports cupboard, Launceston Church Grammar School.

Detail of names on Field family sports cupboard, Launceston Church Grammar School.

Detail of names on Field family sports cupboard, Launceston Church Grammar School.

DB63

“Ellen Nora Payne – Woodcarver of Tasmania” by Russell Atkinson

“In 1924 seventeen members of the Field family, all old boys of the school, resolved to present the school with a sports cupboard in memory of their school days.  They asked their kinswoman, Mrs Nellie Payne (née Field) to design and carve it.  The result was a very handsome piece of furniture which stands (in the 1970’s but not today) in the same room as the Max Field chair.

The design is masterly.  The cupboard stands nearly six feet tall, and across the top of it are carved Newbolt’s lines

O strength divine of Roman days,
O Spirit of the Age of Faith,
Go with our sons in all their ways
When we long since are dust and wraith.

The top of each of the two doors bears a richly carved panel, on the left a ringtail possum, and on the right a flying squirrel, each ringed in an intricate peppermint gum pattern.  Below each panel is a carved medallion and motto; and inside the right-hand door are carved in high relief the names of all seventeen members of the Field family with the dates of their enrolment in the school, from 1860 to 1920.

The list of the Field family ‘old boys’, as Mrs Payne carved them into the enduring blackwood, is quite impressive:

1860 John Charles 1904 Kenneth Lindsay
1866 Thomas William 1905 Hugh Stanley
1867 William Lindsay 1909 Lindsay McCrae
1878 George Westfield 1911 Thomas Ayton
1879 Richard Charles 1913 Richard Randal
1889 Norman Charles 1913 Errol Kentish
1897 Colin 1919 Charles R. Sadler
1897 Harry A. Lindsay 1920 Brian Archer
1920 Norman Tulloch Sadler

Several of these boys afterwards became widely known and respected for the distinguished parts they played in the realms of agriculture, horse-racing and blood stock breeding, and sport.”