Willing smiles at Hector the crocodile
TOUGHENED troubadour Jimmy Willing has turned his focus to Lismore's very own renegade reptile, Hector The Crocodile.
The artist and musician is working towards an art exhibition next month while he polishes a song about Lismore's infamous freshwater croc.
Mr Willing has his own take on Hector - actually a female - gleaned from Northern Star archives and first-hand accounts.
"Hector The Crocodile broke off his chain and escaped from a travelling reptile circus at The Lismore Show in 1967. He made quite a commotion running down the aisle past the fairy floss stands, screaming CWA ladies and bolting horses! He made a dash through the front gate and dived into Slaters Creek before his erstwhile captors could say, 'see you later alligator'"
Like a flash he then swam into The Wilsons River where he roamed free for many years scaring the hell out of the local kids playing hooky in the summertime. Hector disappeared sometime soon after the 1974 floods and many conspiracy theories abound as to who, how, why Hector disappeared," said Jimmy.
According to Northern Star archives, Hector's disappearance after the flood sparked more consternation than her arrival, with the then captain of the MV Florrie speculating that vandals may have 'murdered' the crocodile.
However, Mr Willing's songwriting takes a more emotional than forensic approach to immortalising the legend. "Hector didn't have a mate. He must have been lonely. So I wrote a kind of unrequited love song," he said.
Mr Willing revealed the punch-line of his soon-to-be released musical homage goes:
"I think it must be very lonely
Being Lismore's one and only
Hector The Crocodile"
Mr Willing said he has not given up his quest to see Hector immortalised in art on the Wilsons.
"Hector was a real life rural legend and I think it's about time we erected a statue of him in Lismore but as I'm not the mayor it may never happen and I may have to be content with immortalising him in song!" he said.