“Rescuing Captain Bligh” – Unveiling Expo 88 Icon on Australia Day

February 7, 2020

By chance, Foundation Expo 88 found in the foyer of the Gold Coast City Council the sculpture “Rescuing Captain Bligh”, which humorously features Captain Bligh being “rescued” by a group of Australian lifesavers.

In fact, this artwork is on loan to the Village from Surf Life Saving Queensland and as such, it is hoped that its presence in the Village will remind all people, especially the young, that this is a great organisation and worth supporting and/or joining.

The sculpture is part of the “Human Factor” plaster of paris (look alike fibreglass) still life figures from Expo 88.   In fact, it is two individual artworks known as “Lifesavers” and “Rescuing Captain Bligh” by Brisbane sculptor John Underwood – but commonly known as just “Rescuing Captain Bligh”.

These icon artworks were kept under wraps and were unveiled on Australia Day, 26 January 2020 at a ceremony attended by various Expo 88 dignitaries and visitors.

Speeches were by:

  • Ric Birch (left) who was Director of Entertainment at Expo 88; and
  • Sir Frank Moore AO (right) who was  instrumental in creating the team and the application for Queensland’s successful nomination to host Expo 88.
  • Jason Ford, Chair, 35th Anniversary of Expo 88 Peoples Committee
  • Peter Rasey, Director of Collections, 35th Anniversary of Expo 88 Peoples Committee
  • Roger Dunstan, President, Caboolture Historical Society

with

  • Michael McHutchinson, Town Crier

With the number of children that pass through the Village each year, it is hoped that these artworks may encourage them to consider becoming a surf life saver, bearing in mind, that one only has to be five years of age to become a nipper.

Above from left: Ric Birch, Sir Frank Moore AO and Peter Rasey, Director of Collections, 35th Anniversary of Expo 88 Peoples Committee                            
Below from left: Jason Ford, Chair, 35th Anniversary of Expo 88 Peoples Committee;  Roger Dunstan, President, Caboolture Historical Society and Michael McHutchinson, Town Crier

More photos of the Unveiling Ceremony

Photos of Artworks at South Bank, Brisbane during Expo 88 – Courtesy of Shirley McDougall

YouTube Videos by Peter Rasey available from https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyl7ezOFzIjAxq-2fXH015dM7vJMJHu8K&app=desktop

Photos by Steve Baker, Montrose Photos, David Simons and Peter Rasey

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