City of Busselton Settlement Art Project | Spanish settler unveiled

The latest installment of the City of Busselton’s Settlement Art Project was  unveiled on Saturday at a ceremony in the city’s cultural precinct.

Margaret River Wine Association president Barry House said the theme of the statue was not only Spanish settlers of the region but also the formation of the wine industry.

While the region celebrates its 50th anniversary of the modern era of wine making, Mr House said it started much earlier than that with the first settlers of the region bringing grapes with them.

“They planted grapes, made wine and sold it to the American whalers,” he said.

“The Spanish settlers depicted in the statue had significant wine making skills which they had brought from their homeland.”

Busselton resident Ramona Johnson spoke at the ceremony and told the story of how her ancestors left Spain to come to the region in 1905.

“The settlers worked hard to make a living and took on a diverse range of jobs including wine making, potato farming and working on the Busselton wharf,” she said.

“In between they worked on their farms preparing land, digging holes and establishing crops.”

Councillor Rob Bennett said at the ceremony the idea of Spanish settler statue was driven by resident David Reid, former mayor Ian Stubbs and City of Busselton cultural development officer Jacquie Happ.