Gloria in situ at Teneriffe (Photo courtesy of Village News, Oct 2012)
SEPTEMBER saw the arrival not only of ‘Gloria’, the sculptured ewe, in front of Eve’s Restaurant at Teneriffe, but also the publication of a book written to mark Gloria’s passing in January 2011.
In the quest for an artistic depiction of why Teneriffe has inherited the invaluable legacy of so many wool stores, then Councillor David Hinchliffe worked with well-known Brisbane sculptor Mark Andrews to come up with the whimsical design of a ewe awaiting a ship to take her across the seas to where her fleece would be prized.
‘Gloria’ the ewe was installed on 19 September 2012, and has been a hit ever since—but she’s only half the story. Her outstretched arm points to the other planned figure in the duo, her taller ram companion, gazing through binoculars in search of that elusive ship…
When the idea was conceived several years ago, the duo were informally known as Gloria and Gerard, considered an appropriate reference because of their co-authorship of Reflections on New Farm, the local bestseller which stirred an upward trend in local historical awareness.
When and if Gloria’s companion will be completed is yet to be decided by Brisbane City Council. Those who knew Gloria could well imagine that she’d be bemused by the attention. As David Hinchliffe pointed out, “Gloria’s sense of the irreverent would have been tickled.”
PEOPLE react to the loss of a loved one in different ways. Gerard Benjamin’s immediate impulse was to take up his pen and keep a journal, not only during Gloria’s illness but also in the period following her passing. Nine months after the event, he compiled the narrative in a little monograph–which was a recuperative exercise in itself–and put it on the shelf.
There it might have remained, except for an email on 1 August from Ashgrove counsellor Jeanelle Bergin, asking if his account had been published, since it would be useful at a bereavement workshop that she was conducting on 1 September.
Some prompt editing and printing resulted in the delivery of the 80-page book, entitled Early in the Mourning, just two days before the Workshop.
“There are lots of books about bereavement,” said Gerard, “but apparently there are relatively few personal accounts.
“This is a snapshot of how it felt in the months after my loss. I’m sure that it could be of benefit to others who find themselves in that zone.”
Copies of Early in the Mourning may be obtained from the author <gerard.ggbooks-at-gmail.com>. The book is also available at online bookshops or from The Relaxation Centre, 15 South Pine Road, Alderley Qld (07) 3856 3733.