GOOD DOG: Sharon Tucker is happy to see the unveiling of the Bonalbo dog statue after 12 months of fundraising.
GOOD DOG: Sharon Tucker is happy to see the unveiling of the Bonalbo dog statue after 12 months of fundraising. Susanna Freymark

Dog statue really works

SHARON TUCKER felt enormous relief that the "beautiful” working dog statue was in place for the unveiling at Bonalbo on Saturday.

"We had a few glitches in the week leading up to this,” Ms Tucker said, including Fraser Ramsey suffering a bout of pneumonia.

It was important Fraser Ramsey was present at the unveiling at Patrick McNamee Anzac Memorial Park. He was an original member of the group which ran the first cattle dog trial at the Bonalbo Show in 1950.

Mr Ramsey's dog, Judge Judy, unveiled the statue by pulling at an orange cloth to reveal the new dog in town.

Almost 300 people attended, including guests Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland, NCMC chair John Seccombe and Bonalbo show organiser David Whitney.

It was Mr Whitney who came up with the idea for a statue to commemorate the status of the working dog and the first working dog trials in Australia, held in Bonalbo. He knew a statue would bring more tourists.

When Ms Tucker called and said: "I've just retired from teaching, I'm bored and I need a project”, the idea was handed over to her.

"Without Sharon's insight and push, the dog would still be in the back of my head,” Mr Whitney said.

Ms Tucker took on the project with zeal, starting by sitting under an umbrella and collecting donations in a tin at the Bonalbo showgrounds.

At first the donations trickled in.

"All of a sudden, out of the blue, there was a phone call from the meatworks,” she said.

The Northern Co-operative Meat Company wanted to donate $5000 towards the statue

Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland saw Sharon collecting money and suggested a crowdfunding campaign.

The project forged further ahead when Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan announced a Stronger Communities grant to match a donation from the NCMC.



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