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The Saint on Castle Hill in Townsville, Australia – When Graffiti Becomes Cultural Heritage

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Townsville, Australia is a regional city in Far North Queensland, of about 130,000 people.  It’s home to an army and air force base, and James Cook University.  I went to university there for 4 years and loved it (I picked up a tonne of Australian Expressions there!), and ended up losing quite a few brain and liver cells in the process of obtaining a piece of paper saying that I obtained some sort of degree. 

As I discovered first hand, Uni students tend to be become bored and think of crazy things to do to public icons.  This started in the 1970’s in Townsville when bored Uni students decided to abseil down Castle Hill near the city centre and paint the James University mascot, The Saint.

The Saint was originally a popular TV show starring Roger Moore, and the University adopted the stick figure as it’s mascot, which is still the case today.

You see it below painted on Castle Hill within the black circle.

The Saint. The Townsville Graffiti Mascot!

The Saint On Castle Hill Townsville Australia. James Cook University Of North Queensland Mascot

The Saint’s History in Townsville

At first, the local council was a tad pissed off at this rather public expression of University patriotism.

They used to remove it, only for the student abseilers to repaint it everytime.  Anyway, the council eventually gave up, and The Saint has been a permanent fixture since the 1970’s.

The irony is that Queensland State Legislation states that objects older than 30 years old are eligible for cultural heritage status.

This means that The Saint, originally a piece of graffiti, is now a Townsville Cultural Heritage icon.  And will be ever more!

Still Bored At Work? Then Check Out:  Brisbane Floods 2011 - Wednesday Morning 12 January

Here is a close up of The Saint

Roger Moore Is Simon Templar - The Saint

Other things to do in Australia after – go to The Cricket or drive the Mitsubishi Pajero.

Or maybe try Hiking Tropical Australia: Queensland and Northern New South Wales.


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