25.4 C
Byron Shire
February 24, 2024

Pelican wings of peace replaced

Latest News

Knitting Nannas get behind Save Wallum campaign

With porcelain tea cups, lace-covered tables and plenty of knitting the Knitting Nannas Against Greed (KNAG) headed to the...

Other News

NPWS wants to remove beach nudity option

For 26 years, Tyagarah Beach has been an oasis for the region’s naturist community – a space where bodies of all shapes and sizes could roam free without threat of fines or reprimands.

Man assaulted on M1

Witnesses of an assault on the Pacific Highway over the weekend are being asked to contact police as they investigate the alleged crime.

Housing parasites

Trying to fix the housing crisis in the Byron Shire by building more houses is like trying to put...

NSW Aboriginal Land Councils elections this weekend

Elections for members of NSW Aboriginal Land Councils (NSWALC) are on this weekend and NSWALC CEO Yuseph Deen stresses the critical significance of active participation in shaping the future of Aboriginal communities in New South Wales.

Tweed BMX freestyler wins national gold

Tweed-based BMX freestyler Will Spedding has backed up a state championship with a national title and is now set...

GemLife’s seniors’ housing estate (again) and more Ballina Council 2024 court action

A conciliation conference between the Ballina Shire Council and developers wanting to build a seniors’ resort-style estate in West Ballina is to happen in less than three weeks.

Pelican wings being repaired at entrance to Mullumbimby. Photo Hans Lovejoy.
Pelican wings being repaired at entrance to Mullumbimby. Photo Hans Lovejoy.

When the hippies started coming out of the woodwork the woodwork became a central theme for the banks of the Brunswick River in Heritage park Mullumbimby. It was 1988 and time to create a dramatic entrance to Mullumbimby from the Pacific Highway at Uncle Toms that represented the changing culture and identity of the town. The world was a mess at that time said project co-ordinator Richard Mordaunt. ‘The idea of Mullumbimby being a representative of the environment and peace was right.’

The Mullumbimby Gateway consists of a shingled rotunda with a roofline symbolic of the mountain forms of Byron Shire and the Mullumbimby peace poles, designed and carved by local woodworkers and artists, stand nearby. 

‘The beautiful shelter was roofed by Stan Ceglinski from the Billinudgel Wood Working Company. He cut all the shingles for the roof. We thought that they wouldn’t last and would frizzle in the sun but you can go an have a look today and there isn’t a single curl,’ said project coordinator Richard Mordaunt.

Three poles were carved on the banks of the Brunswick River over two years.

The largest, 35 foot high, nature pole depicts the animal and plant life in the environment. The pole has tortoises, local birds, a 14 foot carpet snake, goanna, nightcap daisies, the barrel shape of a locally found Aboriginal nulla nulla (an aboriginal hunting stick). At its top stands an eight foot high pelican, whose wings were made from the timbers of the bridge crossing the Pacific Highway at Billinudgel.

The wings of the Pelican were recently repaired and finally put in place on Thursday 9 February by Council as part of a rehabilitation of the Mullumbimby gateway project.

Originally there were three peace poles and a dragon seat however, the seat and one of the poles were eaten by white ants. ‘The third pole, which was female in form, resembled an unfolding leaf and we called it the lady pole,’ said Mordaunt.

The dragon seat was carved out of a huge tree that was washed up on on the New Brighton beach. It was huge, about 18-20m long. Stan Ceglinski had a truck big enough to move it and brought it to the carving workshop that was setup in Heritage park on the Brunswick River. It was then carved as part of a kids workshop funded by NSW arts.’

During the two years it took to carve the three peace poles and the dragon seat on the river bank there was a huge amount of community interest in the project. ‘At one point the Brunswick River flooded and we thought it would all be washed away. The community came to protect it and lashed all the poles to the big trees on the river bank.’

When it was time for the poles to be erected ‘I thought we were going to carry it out there. We had about 40 people ready but we couldn’t even lift it’ laughed Mordaunt. ‘The electricity people came to our rescue and lifted the poles into place for us, they had all the right equipment.’

Exhausted by the end of the project he may have been but Mordaunt was not about to desert it in its final hour and spent the first year mowing the site with his own push along mower before Council committed to maintain the site.

The site is currently undergoing a facelift with the possibility of the third, lost, peace pole being replaced by another piece of public art. ‘Park your cars and get out and have a look at them,’ said Mordaunt. ‘They are amazing pieces of art.’

Anyone interested in getting involved in the project can call Richard Mordaunt on 0407466461 or email [email protected].


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

NPWS wants to remove beach nudity option

For 26 years, Tyagarah Beach has been an oasis for the region’s naturist community – a space where bodies of all shapes and sizes could roam free without threat of fines or reprimands.

‘Key workers’ removed from Ballina Council’s housing project as Mayor seeks full market rents

Essential workers were the losers at the recent Ballina Council meeting when councillors actively removed the category for ‘key workers’ from their development of rental housing on land it owns in Wollongbar.

Tried catching a bus to TAFE or work in the Northern Rivers – it’s a serious challange

Getting around the Northern Rivers is no easy task without your own transport. Young people are unable to attend TAFE, and you can’t catch public transport to work due to the impossible timing of, and lack of access to, public transport. 

Community tree planting in Mullum Feb 24

Want to help locally to care for our environment and plant trees for our wildlife?