the Breeze

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TED COMES UP WITH BRILLIANT PROGRESS HALL ‘EAGLE’ SCULPTURE The ‘Father’ of Macleay Island art, Ted Upton, has done it again. Over many years, Ted has produced some remarkable timber carvings that have graced our islands and many other areas of Australia, due to Ted’s private sales. Ted reckons Macleay Island (or Alcheringa or Jencoomercha as it can also be known by) has been more than ‘kind’ to him and wife Linda. So that is why Ted, with some contribution from Linda, has produced a stylised sculpture of an Eagle, possibly a Sea Eagle, that sits proudly atop another Totem pole out the front of the Macleay Island Progress Hall. The latest offering from Ted looks down to her ‘partner’ at the ferry terminal and her partner looks back at her. She is carved from a piece of one of the Paperbark trees removed from the ferry terminal to permit renovations and the tree is the top half of an Island Cypress Pine. Linda used her silversmithing skills to gild the beak and eyes adding that bit of extra sparkle. Ted explained: “I wanted to give something back to this island in thanks for the years’ of happiness the island has given us. “We were happy when we came here, have never regretted the move and are happier now than ever. “Alcheringa has encouraged this. “She is a lovely, welcoming and healing island to all who open themselves to her. Due to her growing popularity as a place to live must inevitably make surface changes it suddenly became clear a couple of years ago that no matter what we do to her (and we can be a destructive mob) she will survive and her spirit will thrive,” Ted said. “The Progress Hall was selected as the grounds and is the only place totally owned by and to be used for the betterment of all island people. “The heritage ‘feel’ the place has could only have been achieved by gentle ageing and while it is true that we can only live now, in this moment, it is good to look back at what and where we were and have come from,” Ted added. “The ‘Eagle’ sculpture is also part of our heritage as those paperbark trees were planted by island children 30 years ago and is important that they should know that their dreams and efforts were not in vain.” Ted concluded with this message: “Please remember, you ARE your lifestyle. No one can buy a lifestyle but illusions are readily available for purchase. If you come here to live and must cut down a tree or trees, please do so with respect and plant others if you can. “Your, our, Island will bless you”. The sculpture was erected in its place by well known island contractor John Bonett of JSBS Earthmoving and Landscaping. It is one of many community efforts by John Bonnet, that go unrecognised.

• Ted Upton and John Bonnet with the new Eagle Totem pole.