ATTRACTION: Girl Guides Queensland members admire the mural wall erected at world Expo 88 (Photo: Girl Guides Queensland)
ATTRACTION: Girl Guides Queensland members admire the mural wall erected at world Expo 88 (Photo: Girl Guides Queensland)

SPOT FAMILY NAMES: Historic mural to lure tourists

A UNIQUE tourism attraction is proposed for Blackbutt in the form of thousands of inscribed coloured tiles depicting fish among coral.

This mural of the Great Barrier Reef was a centrepiece for the Girl Guides Queensland stall near the entrance of the World Expo 88 held at South Bank, Brisbane.

WONDER: Girl Guides Queensland members admire the mural wall erected at world Expo 88 (Photo: Girl Guides Queensland)
WONDER: Girl Guides Queensland members admire the mural wall erected at world Expo 88 (Photo: Girl Guides Queensland)

It has spent decades in storage within the Girl Guides Queensland head office basement but is on its way to be moved to the South Burnett.

South Burnett tourism advocate Jason Ford is excited for this addition to the region.

"This wall is staggering and beautiful," he said.

"It's made of tens of thousands of coloured tiles, each purchased by individual people."

Some of the names on the thousands of tiles which make up the mural. (Photo: Contributed)
Some of the names on the thousands of tiles which make up the mural. (Photo: Contributed)

Each mural tile purchased had the name or family name of the owner inscribed on it.

"It's got thousands of people's names on the tiles and they'll travel to the South Burnett to see the tile they bought 30-odd years ago," Mr Ford said.

 

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The mural would form part of a World Expo 88 art trail being set up across the South Burnett.

Councillor Gavin Jones said the South Burnett Regional Council had applied for a federal government grant to fund the mural and proposed art trail.

"That's the determining factor as to whether it goes ahead," he said.

"The reason Blackbutt was chosen, was the Roy Emmersen Museum was a Girl Guides hut back in the day."

The mural is proposed for the Les Muller Park, but community consultations will be conducted before decisions are final.

"There's three pieces missing, but we hope to recreate those three pieces to rebuild the wall," Cr Jones said.

An original ticket stub from the purchase of tiles in 1988. (Photo: Contributed)
An original ticket stub from the purchase of tiles in 1988. (Photo: Contributed)

District manager for Kingaroy Girl Guides Holly Livett said the Kingaroy group were excited and felt privleged at the propsect of having the mural in their region.

"We would love to be involved in the unveiling of the mural and celebrating 100 years of Guiding History," she said.

"As a child I recall this mural at Expo 88 as i was a Redcliffe Guide at the time."

There will be newly-restored statues from the Expo 88 ArtBuster collection in various towns with some already in the region.

"The idea is to distribute them right across the region," Mr Ford said.

"Blackbutt already has statues, we're working towards getting one for Wondai."

The Sad Clown, a carnival clown sitting on a bench, is one of the latest statues secured for the trail.

"It's in immaculate condition," Mr Ford said.

'The Sad Clown', one of the Expo 88 Artbuster statues coming to the South Burnett. (Photo: courtesy of Shirley McDougall)
'The Sad Clown', one of the Expo 88 Artbuster statues coming to the South Burnett. (Photo: courtesy of Shirley McDougall)

Another statue, The Sculptor, of a workman holding a jackhammer will find its new home in the South Burnett.

South Burnett Regional Council has secured a $10,000 grant to fund the art trail in the South Burnett through COVID-19 funding.

'The Sculptor', one of the Expo 88 Artbuster statues coming to the South Burnett. (Photo: courtesy of Shirley McDougall)
'The Sculptor', one of the Expo 88 Artbuster statues coming to the South Burnett. (Photo: courtesy of Shirley McDougall)

Kaye de Jersey, Girl Guides Queensland patron and wife of Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey, and former state politician Sir Llew Edwards' wife Lady Jane Edwards have both expressed their support and excitement of the historic mural being put on public display.

Mr Ford said it was great the tourism project already had funding and great support.

"This is great for the South Burnett as the borders reopen, this is another attraction for the region," he said.

Some of the names on the thousands of tiles which make up the mural. (Photo: Contributed)
Some of the names on the thousands of tiles which make up the mural. (Photo: Contributed)

The South Burnett will feature a large collection of the Expo 88 artefacts as part of a wider World Expo 88 public art trail across Queensland.

South Burnett

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