‘Neddy’ to lift festival Spirit

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times
Busselton Men's Shed members Ian Macauley, Murray McSweeney and Stuart Carlin with "Neddy" the 2020 Spirit for the Festival of Busselton.
Camera IconBusselton Men's Shed members Ian Macauley, Murray McSweeney and Stuart Carlin with "Neddy" the 2020 Spirit for the Festival of Busselton. Credit: Picture: Sophie Elliott

Busselton’s Men Shed has helped the “Spirit” of Busselton come to life for the city’s annual community festival.

The Festival of Busselton is being held throughout January and this Saturday’s float parade is set to be one of the highlights.

Last year, the organising committee reintroduced a much-loved element of the parade, the Festival Spirit — an effigy built and burned as part of the celebrations.

The tradition was started by the late Vince Triglia, who would create giant papier-mache characters, loaded with fireworks.

Members of the Men’s Shed admitted they had a whole new respect for Mr Triglia’s abilities after building the 2020 Spirit. This year’s effigy will be a caricature of infamous bush ranger Ned Kelly, complete with toy guns and handcuffs. The inspiration for the creation came when the Men’s Shed team were struggling to build the larger-than-life character.

“We were trying to shape the head with a nose and it kept falling forward, so we thought why not make it a helmet and the idea of ‘Neddy’ was born,” Murray McSweeney said.

“It took us about three weeks to build. He is made of a chicken wire frame, clothed in donations from St Vincent de Paul and full of paper, so he goes up in flames easily.”

“The Festival of Busselton gave us an open artistic license. We certainly had fun and the work and materials is our donation to the event.”

Neddy will be towed on a trailer loaned by Trade Hire.

The parade will take off from Signal Park at 4pm. It will travel down Queen Street, then along Prince, Stanley and Albert Streets before returning back along Queen Street to Signal Park.

Visit festivalofbusselton.com.au.

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