Welcome to Ballandean, in the heart of the Granite Belt – country that is both beautiful and rugged, but perfect for growing apples and grapes. Fresh from visiting the Big Apple at Applethorpe, fifteen minutes down the highway I found a bright green triceratops, as you do.
According to the website of the Granite Belt Tourism Association, the Fruitisforus first made an appearance as a float for the 1989 Apple and Grape Festival ‘when the local shopkeeper’s daughter was a queen entrant. After the festival the community didn’t know what to do with it so they put it by the roadside in front of the Ballandean railway station to stop passing traffic in a bid to sell fruit as a fundraiser for the local football club.
It soon became a major attraction but as it was not originally to withstand harsh Granite Belt winters and children clambering all over it, repairs became necessary. In 2009 Fruitisforus went to the neighbouring dinosaur hospital to be covered in fibreglass, reinforced and painted. It was lovingly returned to the original railway precinct and attracts thousands of passers by from all over the world.’
Wow. This raises so many more questions than it answers. Did she win Apple & Grape Queen by riding on the back of a triceratops? Did the local football club raise enough money? Why have I bothered slaving in an Emergency Department all these years when I could have been doing good work at the Dinosaur Hospital???
No time to answer these though. I have to get going to the see the Wine Barrel Totem Pole at Quart Pot Creek.