Saturday, January 15, 2011


Aficionados of Rugby League will be aware that there is a statue outside Queensland’s Suncorp Stadium of former Australian and Queensland captain, Wally Lewis:

The inscription refers to him as The Emperor of Lang Park and he is also commonly known as The King, but such honorifics do not stop people good naturedly taking the piss out of the statue, especially at State of Origin time:

There have also been various promotional stunts iinvolving The King's statue, including people being photographed kissing him to earn Bronco's tickets:

When the tragic Queensland floods were about to inundate large parts of Brisbane, the decoration of the statue became a symbol that the Queenslanders were still able to raise a defiant laugh at the situation:

Suncorp Stadium flooded, the waters came and went, leaving their heartbreaking legacy, but the memory of the decorated statue still raises smiles and remains a source of inspiration, as much as the emotional words of Anna Bligh:
Can I say to Queenslanders everywhere:

Wherever you are and there are so many places to list, if you are in central Queensland, if you’re in Southwest Queensland, if you’re in Western Queensland, if you’re in the Burnett Region, the Darling Downs, Toowoomba, the Lockyer Valley, Ipswich or Brisbane, all of those places have been affected by floods and I say to every one of those people in those areas and to Queenslanders in other parts of the state:

as we weep for what we have lost, and as we grieve for family and friends, and we confront the challenge that is before us, I want us to remember who we are. We are Queenslanders; we’re the people that they breed tough north of the border. We’re the ones that they knock down and we get up again. I said earlier this week that this weather may break our hearts and it is doing that but it will not break our will and in the coming weeks and in the coming months we are going to prove that beyond any doubt.

Together, we can pull through this and that’s what I’m determined to do and with your help, we can achieve that.

Thank you.
What did Wally Lewis think of the floral floaties, goggles and snorkel on his statue?  Interviewed shortly before heading off with mates to assist in the flood relied affort, he commented:
"It's something that's a little bit comical in tough times and it gets people laughing.

I can tell you mate, with the size of my buffalo butt, it'll take a few more floaties than that to keep me above water."

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