MURAL LOCATION – Corner of Smith and Grant Streets – Yarram
ABOUT THE MURAL Heesco Town in Yarram Victoria is now world famous for it’s award winning Street Art, all painted by Mongolian born artist Heesco Khosnaran, but when local artist and film maker Wayne Tindall asked Heesco to come and paint murals in Yarram 2 years ago, Heesco had no idea that he wasn’t the only Mongolian in the area. He recently discovered his forebears came to the area in the 1850’s and soon leaned of an amazing Mongolian story. In honour of this, Heesco has created a huge 26 metre mural that now adorns the wall of the Sports Stadium on the corner of Smith and Grant Streets in Yarram. This mural number 24 and is the last in the now world famous Heesco Town Murals that adorn Yarram and surrounds.
THE STORY – Local Gippsland resident, Kathleen Keene, heard about the murals being painted by Heesco and was excited to hear he was Mongolian. She contacted Heesco and sent him information about her great grandfather, Chin Langtip, who had moved to Australia from Mongolia in the 1850’s and arranged for him to meet her brother Ron, and as they say the rest is history.
Heesco first met up with Kathleen’s brother, Ron Shiels, and his wife Trish at the famous Bull Bar & Gallery in Yarram where he was painting the first of the Heesco Town murals. They met again recently with other members of the family, Boyd, and Margie Langtip, at the cemetery in Alberton where Chin Langtip is buried.
They told Heesco the fascinating story of how Chin had arrived as a nineteen-year-old from Mongolia and had soon established his own prosperous market garden business in Tarraville.
In 1870 Chin married Ron’s great grandmother Mary Ann Prout and several years later, Mary Ann’s sister, Elizabeth, became his second wife or ‘friend; as she was then known as. Between them they had 17 children.
In February 1916, four of the sons, Leslie, Bertie, Ernie, and Henry were assigned to the 16th Reinforcements for the 4th Light Horse Regiment. They all returned home to Victoria in 1919 after having fought in the battle of Beersheba ending a crucial battle in the Sinai Palestine campaign of World War One.
This latest mural has brought several of the Langtip descendants together, the latest being Evelyn Parr from Wangaratta. Evelyn only found out about her Mongolian heritage two years ago and through a friend was put in touch with local artist Wayne Tindal. Wayne is the local artist responsible for the designs and marketing of the murals in Yarram.
Evelyn was beamed into a meeting in Yarram via zoom where relatives she had never met, Ron and Trish Shiels from Sale, Boyd and Margie Langtip from Foster and Peter and Vicki Langley from Korumburra were meeting with Heesco Town members Eric Greenaway, Garry Stephens, Wayne Tindall, and Heesco.
They shared their stories of their connection to Chin Langtip and how many of them and their children shared the distinctive blue birthmark that many Mongolians have when they are born.
Heesco and his children were also born with the birthmark, which fades over time.
This final mural has brought the whole community together with a sense of pride and wonder at the rich history that has sat hidden from locals for so many years…right in their back yards…and judging from the response on social media and visitors arriving in the town to watch the progress, this one mural looks set to establish Yarram in Victoria as the must see Street Art Destination in Australia.
Heesco Town has quite a following here in Australia and right around the world after taking out the 2020 Gold Street Art Award for best Art Trail in Australia.
Heesco Town has featured in countless social media posts and also in many mainstream TV shows here and overseas…recently featuring in the ABC Arts show ‘Art Works’ and the Channel 9 series Roads Less Travelled.