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Sir Hubert Opperman : 10-May-2012
Sir Hubert Opperman : 10-May-2012

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

Hubert Ferdinand Opperman, held more than 100 distance cycling records, including the Australian Road Cycling titles in 1924, 1926, 1927 and 1929. "Oppy", as he was know to the crowds, was voted Europe`s most popular sportsman in 1928 after winning the Bol D`Or in France. More than 500,000 readers of the French sporting journal L`Auto had chosen the Australian ahead of there own national tennis champion Henri Cochet.

Unquestionably one of the greatest cyclists the world has ever seen, Oppy`s lifetime achievements spanned horizons far wider than his sporting fame. He became a Menzies and Holt government minister, variously holding the Shipping and Transport and Immigration portfolios from 1963 to 1967. Sir Hubert Opperman was also Australia`s first high Commissioner to Malta, representing the nation there for five years until 1972.

Location

Address:Sussex Street, Northern Highway & Fraser Street, Rochester, 3561
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.362996
Long: 144.698901
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Sport
Monument Designer:Stephen Glassborow

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 29th May, 1994
Front Inscription

Oppy

Hubert Opperman was born in Rochester.  His early job as a telegraph boy encouraged his love of cycling.  Throughout the 1920s and 1930s "oppy" was the dominant figure in Australian cycling.  He first won the Australian Road Cycling Championship in 1924.  He won it again in 1926, 1927 and 1929.  At the same time he was becoming an international star.  This staue is modelled on his stunning victory at the Bol D`Or in Paris in 1928.  In the same year he was highly placed in the prestigious Tours De France.  His first place in the 1265 km. Paris - Brest - Paris road race of 1931was the highlight of his sporting career. 

That year he was voted sportsman of the year by a French newspaper.  In 1991 Sir Hubert Opperman attended the centenary celebrations of the race and was honoured with the gold medal of the city of Paris.

"Oppy" retired from cycle racing in 1940.  Typically, he celebrated his retirement with a twenty-four hour marathon at the SYndey velodrome, breaking one hundred and one records with the process.

After war service with the R.A.A.F. he entered Federal politics holding the Victorian seat of Corio for the Liberal Party from 1949 until 1967.  During this time he served as Minister For Shipping and Transport and Minister for Immigration.

In 1967, he was appointed Australian High Commissioner for Malta, receiving the O.B.E.in 1952 and was knighted in 1968.

This was officially unveiled by Sir Hubert Opperman on his 90th birthday, 29th May 1994.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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