Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

SHARI 'PINES' FOR ICON; the Demolition of Gympie's Best Known Landmark Has Left a Sour Taste for a Local Family, JANNETTE PARKE Writes

Newspaper article Gympie Times, The Qld.

SHARI 'PINES' FOR ICON; the Demolition of Gympie's Best Known Landmark Has Left a Sour Taste for a Local Family, JANNETTE PARKE Writes

Article excerpt

Whichever way you slice it, the destruction of the Gympie Pineapple is a sour point with the granddaughter of David English (senior), the local man who built it.

Shari English and her father, David English (junior) said the whole family was dismayed at its removal, not only because an icon of Gympie bit the dust but because "it was very special to us".

David junior, also a builder, said he was only a young fellow when his dad's building company, English and Sons constructed the region's famous landmark at the beginning of the '70s. He's bitterly disappointed that there was no time to try and save Queensland's biggest pineapple, and yes, he says it really was bigger than the Sunshine Coast replica. One very small consolation is that the English family managed to obtain "an eye", a fibreglass remnant of the outer skin to keep as a memento.

David does not blame the demolishers, who he says were simply doing their job. In fact, "lady demolisher" Justine Smith says she spent three weeks trying to find a home for the pineapple, and when one was not forthcoming in the timeframe allotted, she somewhat sadly had to 'bring her down".

And Justine spent $10,000 of her own money salvaging the top of the pineapple, because she could not bear to see it wrecked.

However, in light of how excited some Sunshine Coast residents have become now they have "Queensland's last remaining big pineapple" at Woombye, including a growing clamour to heritage list it, David does feel the Gympie region has been robbed of a much superior Queensland emblem.

In various cultures, the pineapple represents welcome and friendship, and according to many visitors and residents, Gympie's pineapple was a welcoming and friendly sight, not to mention, a handy point of reference for travellers.

"Dad and his brothers constructed it, Prongers fabricated the fibreglass skin, and Smith and Sons fabricated the steel structure work," he said. …

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