The 10th anniversary Mary Poppins Festival has begun with plenty on offer for the young, and the young at heart in the heritage city of Maryborough.
Live performances, book readings, circus workshops and famous authors are just the beginning of a jam-packed program in the birthplace of the Mary Poppins author.
Have a spoonful of sugar at Mary Poppins Day in the Park!
On Saturday July 1, the Mary Poppins Day in the Park will take over the Maryborough streets for Queensland’s most whimsical event!
The historic Maryborough Portside precinct transforms into the scenes of Cherry Tree Lane to celebrate the unique connection to author P L Travers.
Travers was born in 1899 in the heritage-listed bank building that her father managed, where she lived for the first two years of her life.
Magic fills the air in the heritage city where the novel comes alive as Admiral Boom fires his time cannon throughout the day. Sidewalk art, street theatre, circus workshops and more are just the beginning of all of the charming fun…
The supercalafragalistic event continues with chimney sweep challenges, nanny races and is topped off with a grand parade all in famous Cherry Tree Lane.
Maryborough’s riverside parks and heritage streetscapes are the perfect setting for this unique and quirky festival. With just a spoonful of imagination they will transform into pages from the novels, creating a fantasy experience for all!
More supercalafragalistic highlights
In the beginning… A special Maryborough Story Trail tour
Lead by a member of the ancient guild of story tellers, starts in the Maryborough Bond Store basement and walks through the heritage wharf precinct. Take a journey with live performances from Butchulla and South Sea Islanders where, if you listen closely, you may even hear the voices of those gone before.
A Spoonful of Circus
A Mary Poppins themed, week-long program taught by professional circus artists, kids will learn to juggle, hula hoop, plate spin and more!
Robbery in Cherry Tree Lane
Join the forensic team to solve the mystery that’s got Cherry Tree Lane in a twitter! Process DNA and learn techniques that the pros use!
Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole
For the last two decades, Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole have stayed at the forefront of Australian country music… And they’re coming to Maryborough!
For all these dates and many more wonderful and quirky events, head to marypoppinsfestival.com.au.
Further news… We’ve lit up the streets!
With just days until the Mary Poppins Festival begins, the city has installed traffic lights using a silhouette of the world’s most famous nanny!
Maryborough is now the only city in Australia that has transitioned from the regular stick-figure silhouette to a quirky representation from the city’s history. It is part of a unique story trail that winds through the streets of Maryborough to discover the history of the city and Mary Poppins.
While you’re there, follow the story trail through the streets of Maryborough to discover links to the novel… You’re sure to be delighted!
Mary Poppins Festival – June 23 – July 2
Mary Poppins Day in the Park – July 1
For further information visit marypoppinsfestival.com.au, BYO spoon and sugar!
PHOTO: Getting into the spirit of the Mary Poppins Festival in 2005.
IF THERE is a short-cut to happiness, Len and Shirley Shaw of Maryborough found it when they met at a dance more than half a century ago.
One dance – the Twilight Waltz – was all it took to set the scene for 60 years of marriage that produced three daughters, 15 grandchildren and by the end of this year, 18 great-grandchildren.
Len and Shirley were married at St Paul’s Church of England (now Anglican Church) in Maryborough on June 16, 1956.
Celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary at B & B On Sunrise in Tinana on June 18, the couple agreed their secret to a long marriage was simply to “be happy”.
“We don’t have any arguments,” Len said. “If it looks like there’s an argument brewing, I go down to the dam and come back an hour later.”
Shirley (nee Birt) said: “I watch The Bold and the Beautiful on TV. He hates that so I watch it and he goes outside.”
Their recipe for compatibility works for them.
“It’s been easy sailing,” Shirley said. “We’ve had ordinary life, nothing special really. We’ve only been on one trip, a Fairstar cruise. Otherwise, we’ve just worked and raised the kids.”
However, the glint in Len’s eyes and Shirley’s cheeky smile suggests their story is anything but ordinary.
“Len had an AJS motorbike that we often rode to Hervey Bay,” Shirley continues.
“In those days you never wore a helmet. We were coming home from Gympie one night and we were just outside Tiaro.
“I’m on the back asleep on his shoulder and we woke to the sound of gravel scratching the bike as we were headed for the bush.
“Luckily we woke up in time. We were both asleep with no helmets on and we survived.”
Len, a typical Aussie larrikin, was sacked from his first job at Reid’s Bacon Factory after an altercation with his boss.
“It end up that he had a rowing team and he wanted another man so I rowed in his crew. There was no animosity,” he said.
Len grew up in Maryborough’s flood area of the Pocket, the son of a blacksmith whose shop was located opposite the Carlton Hotel on the east side of Bazaar Street.
“I used to ride a horse to drive the cows down every morning before school and bring them back past Reid’s Bacon Factory in the afternoon to do the milking.
“One day the boss’s son pulled me up and asked if I wanted a job. I was only 13 so my old man rang the headmaster to see if I could leave school.”
Len laughs: “The headmaster said ‘For Christ sake, take him the hell out of here!'”
That was the first of many jobs from the bacon factory to sugar and meat factories, driving trucks and owning a bread run. He was even Hervey Bay’s first Mr Whippy!
“I was Mr Whippy when it first came to town,” Len said. “I had the Hervey Bay run and I’d pull up and there’d be kids coming from everywhere.
“I also sold insurance for three months but hated it – if you couldn’t eat it I didn’t want to sell it!”
Len said: “We were never rich with money but we felt rich having such a beautiful family.”
Most of them were among the 50 people who gathered to celebrate Len and Shirley’s special milestone.