News Offbeat

Gympie's big pineapple crush

  • Amy Remeikis & Gympie Times
  • 27th August 2008

Eleesha Silva, 3, of Christchurch stands outside Gympie's Big Pineapple with a postcard of Woombye's Big Pineapple.

The Sunshine Coast Daily/Brett Wortman

THE Big Pineapple at Woombye can now stand proud as the only big pineapple fibreglass structure in the state.

The slightly smaller big pineapple in Gympie is marked for demolition, with developers preparing to pull down the structure on Monday to make way for a new retail development.

Gympie's version of the Big Pineapple, which was established on the Sunshine Coast in 1971, sat on top of a service station and was used as a landmark for many travellers.

However, it also caused confusion, with many passing through Gympie wrongly assuming they had seen the Big Pineapple.

Gympie claims their giant fruit to have been the original Big Pineapple, however the 37-year-old icon on the corner of Monkland Street and River Road is about to go the way of the now defunct Big Egg and Big Elephant.

But news of the impending crushing has left a sour taste in many Gympie residents' mouths, upset at losing what has been a town icon.

Peter Snelling was among those saddened by the loss of the spiked statue and said he had fond memories of his time as lessee.

He said he used to have it open for motorists and their children to explore.

"Kids used to run up the stairs and look out the portholes," he said.

"It's sad but it's progress (and) what do you do?"

The Gympie Regional Council was offered the chance to relocate the pineapple to another site, however the council would have had to fund the dismantling and transport, a move Mayor Ron Dyne said was too expensive for the council to take on.

The Sunshine Coast attraction has been in the news lately as the site of weekly farmers markets; the gathering point for the start of the Ride For Daniel and it was touted as a live music venue, an idea that never eventuated.

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