In December 2007 I happened to see this Christmas card which depicts a group of penguins singing carols with Santa.
The next week I went to the Christmas breakup party for our local ladies lawn bowling club and as usual they have a section where Santa arrives supported by his helpers, to distribute sweets. Usually his helpers are members of the club dressed as elves.
But this year his helpers were dressed as penguins.
Two days later our grand-daughter arrived for a holiday and brought with her five sheets of Christmas theme stickers which she proceeded to affix to anything that seemed appropriate. Surprise, surprise I found that each sheet had a small percentage of the stickers depicting, you guessed it, penguins. Here is a sample.
Why the sudden interest in penguins in Australia ?
Thanks to the Happy Feet movie we have suddenly realised that here is a bird that can project joy and happiness and can live on the edge of our warm climate or in colder climates.
As they only live in the southern hemisphere they are an ideal bird to be used as an Australian symbol.
Penguins are flightless, aquatic birds with the 'Little Fairy' penguin variety breeding on the southern coast of Australia and Tasmania. They stand 35 to 40cm high and weigh around one kg.
They live on land and nest in burrows, each days they go out to sea to feed, returning each evening to their burrow. Although they are a bird they do not fly in the air but use their wings to 'fly' underwater.
I believe that in future years we will see more and more penguins appearing in our Christmas cards etc just as the Six White Boomers have established a place in our folklore.
December 2008 :- The story continues.
As my wife and I walked down the main road in our small town we noticed these blow-up figures.
The one on the left is about two feet (60 centimetres) high and appears very unsteady as he is anchored with several ropes to keep him/her upright.
The center photo depicts a six foot high Santa using a ladder to climb a chimney with penguins guarding the gifts. The photo on the right is a close-up of two of the penguins at the bottom of the ladder.
As this is Australia in December you will notice that there is no snow on the lawns.