A permanent reminder of the much-loved late Frank Costa AO has been unveiled in central Geelong.
Australian artist and sculptor Louis Laumen spent six months crafting the bronze statue on the corner of Ryrie and Moorabool Streets.
Mr Costa is represented as a 13-year-old newsboy outside the T&G Building, where he sold newspapers and sub-contracted other paperboys.
The statue explores a number of unifying themes evident in his life:
• The newspaper represents his ties to the Greater Geelong community;
• The Herald front page about Geelong’s 1951 grand final victory links to his lifelong dedication to the Cats and crucial role as president (1998-2010) when Frank’s business sense elevated and united the club;
• The burden of papers in his arm pays homage to his strong work ethic;
• The money pouch represents his business acumen and appreciation of the value of a shilling; and
• The newsboy stands on a fruit-box pedestal, alluding to the greengrocer trade and family business that started in 1888 and grew into the successful Costa Group.
‘The Newsboy’ sculpture was funded by the City of Greater Geelong, the Costa family, Rory Costelloe and the Geelong Cats.
Mr Costa’s daughter, Gillian Costa, worked on the project from Rory Costelloe’s initial concept.
“The T&G corner is where Dad began his entrepreneurial journey, so this statue is not only a lovely way to remember him and the big part he played in Geelong as an employer, visionary and champion of growth, it also illustrates a moment of Geelong’s past in such a lovely way that residents and visitors alike can relate to and enjoy,” she said.
Mr Laumen said he spent three months in the studio and three months in the foundry getting the statue just right.
“I’ve been guided during the design and artistic process by conversations and consultation with the Costa family, photographs and research,” he said.
“I’m quite pleased with the result; particularly with the fine resolution of the newspaper detail – a testimony to the special skills of the foundry technicians.”
The cost to fabricate and install the memorial was $100,000.