Friday, November 10, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Look out Cockroaches, Sarina’s Buffy the Cane Toad is on the march.
More specifically Sarina’s tribute to one of Australia’s greatest ecological disasters, the dreaded cane toad, is the subject of a post card prepared by Sarina Arts and Crafts volunteer Owen Bromley.
A range of cards by Owen and other volunteers are available at the centre, and Blues supporters could even find them featuring Buffy turning up in their letterboxes if visitors from NSW are game enough to buy them.
Owen has made ‘countless’ cards depicting Sarina scenes in nearly 30 years of supporting the centre, and as he’s a big supporter of Queensland State of Origin, Buffy was a subject he’s wanted to do for some time.
Buffy is enough to scare any Cockroach supporter, as the Blues were known in the early days of Origin clashes with the Queensland Cane Toads, standing more than a metre tall and guarding the northern gateway to Sarina in Broad St.
He was the brainchild of a former Sarina Shire councillor the late Jean Coleman, who with her husband Bevan ran the Tramway Motel on Sarina’s northern outskirts.
Friends who knew them said motel guests were always amazed by the size and number of cane toads sitting around the street lights so Bevan and Jean decided to make up a giant cardboard toad which featured on floats in Sarina’s annual Mardi Gras and Mackay’s Tourist Festival parades in the 70s and 80s.
Buffy won the Mardi Gras award for best float in 1986 and was then donated to Sarina Shire which made a fiberglass replica of it as a tourism drawcard – and something to scare Blues supporters.
A final word on Buffy from a plaque at his statue: “Since his construction Buffy has seen glory, shame, neglect, resurrection and finally recognition as a tourism attraction.”
Maroons supporter Owen Bromley with Sarina’s Buffy the Cane Toad, which features on post cards made by Owen and available at the Sarina Arts and Crafts Centre. Photos: Charlie Payne
Post cards by Owen Bromley