Darlene Cuddy, park officer at Kings Castle Provincial Park, views the extensive damage to a number of the facility’s storybook characters as a large-scale hurt to the scores of people who enjoy the property.
Kings Castle is located in Gladstone, a short distance from Murray River.
Sometime overnight Wednesday three of the concrete characters were the target of vandal/s who smashed one of the Three Pigs and Mamma Bear in small wooded area and a large rabbit stationed near the entrance to the property. A wooden lighthouse, once used on a float in a parade was also hauled onto the beach which borders the back of the park.
The rabbit is a large concern to Ms Cuddy because it’s the first thing visitors and children in particular see when they enter the park. Generations of youngsters and adults have climbed onto the fixture to have keepsake photos taken.
“My heart was broken, but today’s a new day,” Ms Cuddy said. “I’m going to take a positive from this.”
That positive Ms Cuddy is referring to is an area resident, who won’t be named just yet, has stepped forward with offers to repair the smashed characters.
Also inspired by the outreach of literally hundreds of people from across the region to help she will attempt to give the characters a quick fix for cosmetic purposes until more permanent repairs are completed.
The characters are made up of three to four layers of cement which is formed and held together by chicken wire.
The damage was discovered by a neighbour who regularly walks through the park.
Ms Cuddy has worked at the park, formerly named Fantasyland, for 22 years. No admission fee is charged to get into the park and it is popular gathering place for picnics, celebrations and day outings by Islanders and tourists alike.
“Any damage breaks my heart but we haven’t seen anything to this degree,” she said.
The park celebrated its 50th year last summer. It will open June 7 and is already booked solid with school groups.
Kings District RCMP is investigating the incident.