AT THE ROUNDABOUT: Maybe the cedar log could become Lismore’s ’big thing’, like Byron’s lighthouse and Ballina’s prawn? Rainbow-coloured, naturally, to reflect the area’s diversity.
AT THE ROUNDABOUT: Maybe the cedar log could become Lismore’s ’big thing’, like Byron’s lighthouse and Ballina’s prawn? Rainbow-coloured, naturally, to reflect the area’s diversity. Patrick Gorbunovs Digital Mischief Isobel Rodgers

Legend of Lismore log busted

THE long-standing myth of Lismore's memorialised 'Cedar' Log was felled this week.

While workshopping the log's $60,000 government-funded preservation plan, it was revealed that Lismore's 'Big Log' isn't actually red cedar and is certainly not from Lismore.

According to Cr Isaac Smith, member of Lismore Arts and Culture Advisory Group, the alien log was given to Lismore from Tenterfield forestry workers some time in the 1960s as confirmed by The Richmond River Historical Society.

Since then it has laid on its side, protected under a crumbling roof on the Ballina Rd side of City Hall, to memorialise the pioneering cedar cutters who worked under tough conditions to put our river town on the map as an industrial and agricultural hub.

Cr Smith confirmed the log was in fact not red cedar.

Cr Smith said no one knew for sure why Lismore accepted the Tenterfield timber as its own, nor why a representative red cedar couldn't have been sourced locally.

A Facebook debate has given rise to the theory that the log is white cedar or white beech, but still, its exact species has not been identified.

"It's great that these sort of projects embrace participation and shine the spotlight on history," he said.

The log's imported status also makes an artistic makeover problematic.

Local Bundjalung artists may have problems working with something that has been 'brought in' to Bundjalung country, said Cr Smith.

The lucky log is expected to be relocated from its current site between Bounty St and Ballina Rd in the coming days to be refurbished and provided with a series of panels depicting the cedar cutting origins of the region.

Cr Smith confirmed most of the $60,000 funds, part of the City Hall Upgrade Funding, would be spent 'preserving' the log which was currently at risk to the elements under its current rundown roof.

The log's exact plans should be resolved on Monday.

Memorial Myth Busting

Dog defecation: The Dog On The Tuckerbox, memorialised in both song and bronze as loyalty and mateship, is, like our log, a sham. The original version of the story called "Bullocky Bill" depicted a bad day in which the yoke of Bill's bullock team broke and to make matters worse, 'the dog shat on the tucker-box/ Five miles from Gundagai'. Salesman and balladeer Jack Moses wrote a cleaned-up version in the 1920s in which the dog sits on and guards the tuckerbox.

Beefed-up title: Don't believe the Casino Beef Week hype. Rockhampton is in fact the 'Beef Capital of Australia'. The Fitzroy basin which includes Rocky, has 2,715,515 head of cattle where as the Northern Rivers a mere 941,324 head.

Donkey of a legend: The Gallipoli legend of stretcher-bearer John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey has been brought into question. In a 60-page private submission, Graham Wilson, an official in the awards branch of the Defence Department found, "just about every word that has ever been written or spoken about Simpson, apart from the bare facts of his civilian life and his basic military service, is a lie."



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