Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Two Australian icons

Family holiday snap, Gundagai c1962
Ask any Australian if they know Streets Icecream and the answer will be yes. And ask any Australian if they know about the dog on the tuckerbox and the answer will be yes. They are two Australian icons. But ask any Australian about the background story of the icons and you'll be met with a blank face or a shoulder shrug. Here they are in the same family holiday snapshot taken near Gundagai, New South Wales in about 1962. There's the dog on the tucker box and parked nearby is a Streets Ice Cream delivery van.

The life-size statue of a dog was unveiled by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Right Honorable Joseph Lyons, in 1932. It is a memorial to the pioneers of the Gundergai district.

The Dog on the tuckerbox kiosk at Snake Gully
showing the Dog on the Tuckerbox statue in front. Gundagai, New South Wales, ca. 1970
[NLA P805/1732 Album 1139] 
Photo taken c2010. Same building, same dog.

Between WWI and WWII, Edwin (‘Ted’) Street with the help of his wife and brother laid the foundations (in Corrimal, NSW) for what would ultimately become Australia’s biggest and best-known ice cream manufacturer. Streets ice cream was originally made in the back shed by Ted. He would then sell these to neighbours along with sweets, cakes and lemonade. Popularity grew and he soon used a cart, then a one-horse- power motorbike to sell Streets ice cream. It continued to grow and today Streets ice cream is sold throughout Australia and New Zealand with well known brands such as Magnum, Paddle Pop and Blue Ribbon. []

The statue was inspired by a bullock drover's poem, "Bullocky Bill", which celebrates the life of an allegorical drover's dog that loyally guarded the man's tuckerbox (an Australian colloquialism for a box that holds food) until death...Bullocky Bill was written by an otherwise unknown poet who used the pen name "Bowyang Yorke" and first printed in 1857. A later poem by Jack Moses drew on the Bowyang Yorke poem for inspiration and was published in the 1920s. The latter poem was very popular and was the inspiration for the statue. Moses's poem, Nine Miles from Gundagai, was first published in 1938, several years after the statue's unveiling. Jack O'Hagan's song, "Where the Dog Sits on the Tuckerbox (5 miles from Gundagai)", was published in 1937. [Wikipedia]

You can hear another Aussie icon, Slim Dusty, singing the song here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...