190819 The Bridges of Gundagai

On our way north this time, we’ve decided to stop at a few little towns we have just ‘sped through’ on past ventures. Yesterday, we decided to stop two nights in the well-known town of Gundagai. Well known (for all the overseas readers), because of the song “… where the dog sits on the tucker box, 3 miles from Gundagai”. A few short weeks ago, the dog was knocked off his ‘tucker box’ in a vandal attack on this icon of the region. Just yesterday, Sunday, there was a ‘restoring of the dog’ and various dignitaries were there to make the appropriate remarks and unveil the restored canine.

It’s obvious that the town has been a very busy town in ages gone as there are many stories posted appropriately on various buildings signifying their importance in the etchings of small towns. There’s a story of the last mail delivery on horseback in Australia.

“On the night of 24th June 1852, the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history was about to happen. Widespread rains began in June 1852 with the levels of the Murrumbidgee River rising every day leading up to that dreadful Thursday night and in to Friday Morning. The white settlers refused to heed the dire warning from the local Aborigines who told them to relocate to higher ground. The river rose, water depths of 14 feet were recorded in the highest parts of town.

People took refuge on the roofs of houses and stables and even trees. Anywhere that may assist in sparing their lives. The stranded were rescued or washed away. By Saturday, the cries of the drowning had ceased. The flooded Murrumbidgee River raged through the Gundagai township drowning 79 of the 250 inhabitants and destroying 72 buildings.”

Every town in Australia has a story to tell that rarely is told to those who come to be sheltered in its shores.

Included in today’s video is Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece. At 15 Frank Rusconi became an apprentice to the marble trade at Verquinto, Italy, finishing his studies five years later at Neuchatel. He settled at Gundagai in 1905. Then he established a monumental masonry business. As he worked, he collected various marbles and with them he built a magnificent marble masterpiece. You can see it at the Gundagai Visitors Centre. Rusconi also built the stairway at Westminster Abbey, The Dog on the Tuckerbox base as well as many other well-known structures in the area.

Anyway, enjoy the video that shows the bridges of Gundagai as well as a little of Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece.