Sculptor Brett Benecke puts the finishing touches to the Mulgildie Bunyip.
Sculptor Brett Benecke puts the finishing touches to the Mulgildie Bunyip. Ren Lanzon GLABUNY

The tale of a Bunyip

IN MULGILDIE a Bunyip is born.

And the community of this Monto locality will be out to greet him big time.

A likeness of the Australian version of the Yeti hulks over a highway between Monto and Eidsvold, about 10km from where the horror was born.

The inaugural Mulgildie Bunyip Festival that will include a rodeo, a fashion parade, markets and an art competition.

The Bunyip may have disturbed the dreams of the Aborigines of that area in days gone and still scares some folk today but, according to resident Joan Farrell, that's no reason not to celebrate this monster from the deep.

Joan is the spokeswoman for the Mulgildie Bunyip Committee.

She admitted that the resurrecting of the genuine Aussie monster was inspired by mercenary considerations.

"We saw the tourist potential in this," she said.

"I mean, no one has heard of Mulgildie, have they? But now nearby shopkeepers tell me people are pulling up to take pictures of the Bunyip."

The Bunyip statue was made by self-taught metal sculptor and resident Brett Benecke who is a descendant of the area's pioneering family.

Joan said he was reluctant to take on the task at first, but soon become enthusiastic.

"He collected umpteen descriptions, then drew up his design and used it to make the sculpture."

The primary purpose for the festival is to unveil a mural drawn up by world renowned artist Arthur Hamblin and a table and chair assembly near the statue provided by the Farrell family.

The Bunyip project was funded through the council's RADF Scheme.

The unveiling will be performed by the North Burnett Shire Mayor Joy Jensen.

Joan said many locals, including members of her own family, avoid the waterhole said to be the Bunyip's home, particularly at night.

"Locals have claimed mysterious gurgling noises emerge from the waterhole and stockmen have told tales of cattle being pulled under while fording the stream.

Other attractions at the festival will be cake sales and morning tea, entertainment by the Monto School Band at the Mulgildie Hall, and wine and cheese tasting. Night entertainment will be by Country Shadows in the rodeo grounds and entry is free.

For more information about the festival phone Joan on 4167 2243.



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