Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

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Mermaid Sabrina

A Fishy Sabrina Tail

He wants to put Sabrina on the rocks

From an unknown publication, dated February 1959

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

LYALL RANDOLPH , Sydney's enterprising sculptor of the Rayner Hoff School, wants Sabrina to pose for him as one of two bronze mermaids to be placed on top of a huge rock below Ben Buckler at Bondi.
The Mayor of Waverley, Alderman D. G. Page, says that he and other aldermen think that if the money can be found and if technical problems can be overcome, it would be a good idea to have mermaids at Bondi similar to the Hans Andersen memorial at Copenhagen.
He adds, "Well done, the mermaids would become a tourist attraction. They would look good spotlighted at night. But, as the rock itself was washed up by a heavy sea we would have to make sure the mermaids did not disappear in a storm."
Randolph. who is determined to get his mermaids on the rocks at Bondi, even if private finance has to be raised, chose for his sitting mermaid professional model and Olympic swimming runner-up, Lynette Whillier, of Bronte. Then he went to Melbourne to ask Sabrina to be the upright mermaid.
Randolph says he met Sabrina and her mother, Mrs Sykes, and will continue negotiations when Sabrina comes to Sydney and can visit the place where her fame could be immortalised.
Randolph has already made his figure for the sitting mermaid. But Sabrina, if she could be persuaded to be a mermaid at all, might well think this is the pose most becoming to her.

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes
Reveille , 23 June 1960

'Sabrina has been offered a new job - as a model for a bronze mermaid which is to be placed with another on a rock at Australia's Bondi Beach. The first mermaid, a reclining one, has already been completed. Sabrina is being asked if she will be the model for the second and upright one. If she can be persuaded, the curvaceous Sabrina couldn't adopt a better pose than the one she has in the picture.'

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Alas, Sabrina didn't take the gig.

If you read the following story of the 'Bondi Mermaids' here. Maybe she made a wise move...

From http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/library/localstudies/historical/mermaids.htm

On the 3 April 1960, late artist Lyall Randolph, having recognised Bondi's desperate need for a general clean-up and tourist attraction and inspired by Copenhagen's 'Little Mermaid' statue, secured 2 life-size mermaid sculptures 'Jan' and 'Lynette' atop this boulder. Lyall modelled his mermaids on local swimming champions 'Jan Carmody' and 'Lynette Whillier' and sculpted them in fibreglass, filled with cement, injected with polymer resin and painted bronze over a 2 year self-funded development, they cost $4,000 materialistically and priceless artistic dedication.

Lyall Randolph's 'Bondi Mermaids' made instant worldwide headlines, largely due to being controversially 'topless' during a time when nudity was totally unacceptable and bikinis were regularly measured to ensure 'politically correct' attire but unfortunately 3 weeks later, Jan fell victim to a perverted prank and was stolen by Sydney University students who stupidly thought she could lead their Commemoration Parade but instead tragically damaged her beyond return. Lyall was devastated, society more shocked and amidst scandalous scrutiny the community banded together and paid for Lyall to lovingly repair the damage and a year later, the 'Bondi Mermaids' were officially reunited.

'Jan' and 'Lynette' entertained the world and graced their rocky throne until 1974 when severe storms and seas claimed Lynette and Jan's originally damaged torso remained alone until 1976 when Waverley Council, concerned for her safety, relocated her to higher ground, she then mysteriously disappeared for 10 years and resurfaced only to be sadly 'stored' at 'Waverley Library'.

On the 22 July 1997, Australian artist, 'Mermaid Lizmania' successfully proposed and received Waverley Council's support to preserve Jan's remnants and to pay a long overdue tribute to the legendary artist "Lyall Randolph' and reinstate his 'Bondi Mermaids' in the more appropriate weather wearing bronze medium.

On the 14 October 1999, Jan's preserved remnants (paid for by the 'Friends of Waverley Library Group') were unveiled at the new Waverley Library and now resides as a permanent exhibit .

Page Created: 24 Dec 2005

Last Changed: Monday 2018-02-26 16:50

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