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"While Mary Poppins has become a favourite childhood character,
Go always emphasised her stories were never speci cally written for
children -- they were for readers of all ages." And clearly the character
has endeared herself to people of all ages around the world.
One of Melissa McShane's biggest dreams is to have a statue of
Mary Poppins installed in the Highlands, the only Australian location
connected with the author that doesn't have a commemoration
of her most famous character. The concept has been adopted by
Wingecarribee Council with a statue to be installed in Glebe Park near
the Bradman Museum. It is a tting decision for the Mary Poppins
statue to be located in the same area as the Bradman statue as a young
Don Bradman lived in Holly Street at the same time as the Go family.
Melissa and her father are now leading the campaign to raise more
than $60,000 for the project and community support is steadily
growing, but more is welcome.
"A similar plan was considered for Central Park, New York, in the
1960s, but it never went ahead," Melissa said. "Money was raised for the
project, even PL Travers is understood to have donated to it, but it was
"We have been given permission, by the family of the late British
sculptor Sean Crampton, the designer of the proposed New York
statue, to use the same concept plan for the Highlands statue. "We
will even enquire about the money pledged for the New York project.
"Maybe it could go towards our project or maybe we could encourage
the New York proposal to be re-opened as a joint venture with the
In the meantime, the McShanes have teamed up with a community
committee to co-ordinate plans for the 100th anniversary celebrations
of Mary Poppins in the Highlands to occur in July 2010. As it happens,
the Mary Poppins stage show, produced by Cameron Mackintosh
and Disney, which has become a worldwide smash hit, also opens in
Melbourne that same month. Melissa reckons Mary Poppins herself
would describe that coincidence as "practically perfect".
Details: ww w.mary-poppins-birthplace.net. n
> PL Travers (then Helen
Lyndon Go ) watches her
younger sisters Barbara and
Moya as they play in a creek at
the back of their Holly Street,
> PL Travers takes a look at artwork for
the Disney adaptation of Mary Poppins.
> A commemorative Mary Poppins statue approved for the Southern
Highlands will be shaped around concept plans of the late British sculptor
Sean Crampton, the designer of a similar statue proposed for New York in
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