Mary Poppins statue

 Mary Poppins statute, public art, Maryborough

Public art: Mary Poppins statue

Sculptor: © Rhyl Hinwood

Description: A life size bronze statue of the children's book character, Mary Poppins (the world's most famous nanny), in her trade mark outfit, umbrella and travelling carpetbag as described by her creator Pamela L. Travers (and not in the likeness of Julie Andrew's character from the Disney movie). The statue weighs 100kg and is 1.5 m high.  

Date Unveiled: 2005

Cost: $60,000

Funded By: The Mary Poppin's statue was funded in part by a campaign run by Maryborough's Proud Marys Association, a generous benefactor and from public donations . Rotary North Club donated $12,500, State Government and the council contributed $5,000, the "generous" benefactor $20,000 and the Fraser community raised $23,235.

Location: Mary Poppins is located outside the former bank building where Travers was born and where her father once worked, on the corner of Kent and  Richmond Street, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia.

Trivia: Writer Pamela L. Travers was born in Maryborough in 1899.

Rhyl sort inspiration for the statue from drawings by Mary Shepard, the woman who illustrated the original Mary Poppins book, after permission was obtained.

Mary Shepard was given the job of illustrating P.L Travers book at the age of 23, after Travers discovered her work on a Christmas card. This was after Shepard's father, the famous Winnie-the-Pooh and The Wind in the Willows illustrator, declined the work because he was too busy.

The model for the statue was Hinwood's friend's daughter.

Despite Poppins often being depicted with her umbrella open it was decided that due to weight , balance and other issues with the bronze, the umbrella would be closed. Or as Rhyl put it "The umbrella is closed - a good thing for many passers-by who might have copped a knock on the head otherwise."

Other Mary Poppins statues:

Mary Poppins in Bowral New South Wales.

References: Fraser Coast Chronicle; Article by Carlie Walker, Telling tales of the region from whales to Poppins, 3rd November, 2012.

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