Royal Park Bunting for Cup Day Commuters
|Thea paws-ing for effect|
As befits her name, Thea stretches, in true goddess-fashion, after all her decorating efforts. She was one of the Tunnel protestors, from a range of different groups (and species) who were lucky enough to find ourselves on this glorious morning wandering amidst the trees of Royal Park.
|Balm for the soul|
We were there for a purpose, to decorate the trees with signage opposing the East-West Link and the destruction it would cause to Royal Park and the Zoo. Cup Day provided a perfect opportunity to raise the consciousness of race-bound commuters and families making the most of the public holiday by visiting the zoo.
|Home to many other species which would oppose the tunnel if only they could|
We got to work early so that the trees would be ready to welcome them all.
An added bonus for activists, I realised all over again today, is that we get to hang out with people with shared values and passions, who often have fascinating stories to tell. One such person that I met this morning is Tony, whose great-grandfather, Francis Meaker, was one of the initial 3 Keepers at the zoo. This was interesting enough, especially as Francis' wife said "To hell with baking scones" and instead raised lion cubs for the zoo in their home. But as well as that, after hours and for 35 years (from 1870 until 1905), I learned, Francis worked honourarily as Royal Park Ranger and later, Crown Lands Bailiff. I couldn't get over the synchrony of Tony being out there today fighting for the very parklands his great-grandfather had cherished.
|How proud his great-grandfather would be of Tony|
Within an hour or so of beginning, with the park resplendent with signage, we started packing up. As we did so, one of our group dropped past to report that our signs were already being ripped down - by no other than the Park Ranger.
I'm sure Francis Meaker would have been utterly shocked.