FRANKIE DeGROOT | News | CONTACT
The recent enthusiasm for addressing the complicated legacies of famous statues has reached all the way to Snake Gully, on the outskirts of Gundagai today with news that protestors have vandalised the iconic ‘Dog On The Tuckerbox’ monument.
The attack on the statue follows revelations the careless canine ruined a newly poured and broom finished slab by walking straight through it for no apparent reason.
“My pop was on the broom that day” said one protestor Jake Hallens.
“They had just finished packing up and the bloody dog has gone and run through the whole thing.”
“I think he saw a snake out the back or something, but that’s no excuse. It was 4:30 on a Friday arvo!”
“Maybe that was tolerated back then but there is no place for that sort of thing in today’s society.”
The Dog On The Tuckerbox was unveiled in 1926 near the Hume Highway, a major arterial road used to transport unsuspecting New South Welshmen to Victoria, and disease-riddled Victorians to unaffordable real estate.
The Hume Highway was forged by the blood, sweat and tears of tough outback bullockies driving teams of straining bullocks, which inspired the creation of a monument that featured neither of them.
Instead, the Dog on the Tuckerbox depicts a dog featured in a bullock team inspired poem, who’s dubious contribution to national progress was to sit on the bullocky’s tuckerbox and not get in the way of any actual work.
For years the statue has been a vital pitstop and certified leg-stretch zone on a long, boring road with few rest stops.
In 2019, canine-themed monument enthusiasts were outraged when the statue was vandalised by a 28 year old Wagga Wagga man, who may have been disappointed that the statue of the dog was the size of a real dog, instead of being the size of a really big statue that was shaped like a dog.
The man later handed himself in to authorities and subsequently had his foot run over very slowly by an historic 25-tonne steamroller, which police claim was an accident.
The statue was later repaired but has come under new attack, this time from protestors who claim to have evidence that, far from not getting in the way of actual work, the pedestalled pooch may have instead set the nation back over 45 minutes by wrecking the slab, which was being poured as part of the construction of a bullock team Driver Reviver in 1839.
The Driver Reviver stations were vital to bullock teams at the time as it gave the bullocks a chance to graze and the bullockys a chance to refresh themselves from a large barrel of rum; coffee not being a common drink at the time.
Local Glenda Simpkins says the monument is part of local history and should stay.
“Just because he did one bad thing, who are we to judge him for that? I bet lots of dogs did that sort of thing back then. He probably did lots of good stuff too. I bet there were heaps of slabs that he didn’t walk through, but nobody talks about that, do they?”
But Jake Hallem says the monument should be removed immediately.
“We would never commemorate this sort of character these days” he said, waving a large cardboard sign reading “DOG ACT!”.
“This is extremely disrespectful to the Greek community and concretors as a whole, not to mention the road crews.
“Nowadays you just say ‘looks like a problem for night shift ha ha ha’ – but back then they had to get all the gear off the wagon again and fix it.”
“And it was 4:30. PM. On a Friday.”
Jake’s girlfriend, Kourtney Tailor, says she also feels very strongly about the cause.
“I can’t believe there’s a place called Snake Gully” she said with wide eyes.
“When Jake said he was taking me here I thought it was some kind of euphemism”.