Moscow’s mango mad­ness

Townsville Bulletin - - News - John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au


con­tent with Bowen be­ing the brindle pig dog cap­i­tal of the world, Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Michael ‘‘ Moscow’’ Brunker now claims it is the mango cap­i­tal of the uni­verse. This is de­spite the fact that a Collinsville coal miner who has lost a few dig­its through some bad tim­ing with det­o­nat­ing cord could count the mango trees around Bowen these days on one hand. Cr Brunker has fired a salvo at Rock­hamp­ton af­ter it claimed the ti­tle of state mango cap­i­tal. He says the first mango tree in Queens­land was planted at Bowen. We’d like to think that some painstak­ing re­search has gone into the mayor’s as­ser­tion, but it’s un­likely it has been put through the PhD wringer. The spin cy­cle’s more like it.

As far as Mayor Moscow is con­cerned, Rocky should be happy with be­ing the state’s beef cap­i­tal and that when it comes to man­goes, Ve­gas should go take a cold shower. The late, break­ing news is that when it comes to the mango cap­i­tal of North Queens­land, that hon­our could well fall to Card­well. Rocky, be­ing in Cen­tral Queens­land, might be able to lay claim to the state hon­our, but when it comes to the North, Bowen is left eat­ing trail dust be­hind Card­well. Townsville his­to­rian Dr Dorothy Gib­son-Wilde thinks it en­tirely pos­si­ble that pi­o­neer­ing botanist John Dal­lachy planted the first north­ern mango way back in the early 1860s. Dr Gib­son-Wilde says that Rocky had an ac­cli­ma­ti­sa­tion gar­den for plants from which Dal­lachy might well have ob­tained his trees.

Cr Brunker is mighty proud of the Big Mango sculp­ture on Bowen’s south­ern ap­proach. But the Big Mango is a false god, a graven im­age. Bowen’s mango fan­tasy is built on a wafer-thin foun­da­tion of myth and imag­i­na­tion. The town, way back in its Port Deni­son days, had the first brindle pig dogs, not man­goes, dammit. What they should have on the high­way on the town’s south­ern out­skirts is a fiveme­tre high bust of a brindle pig dog. They could have a sign un­der­neath: ‘‘ Slasher, first brindle pig dog in Aus­tralia, 1864. RIP’’. That’d get the job done. His­tor­i­cal ac­cu­racy. Is that too much to ask?

townsville­bul­letin. com. au

FALSE GOD: Bowen’s Big Mango

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