Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Tenielle Matheson shares a joke with Big Bird, a green-winged macaw. The sanctuary is holding a party for the humble bee-keeper who started the famous ‘bird park’.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Tenielle Matheson shares a joke with Big Bird, a green-winged macaw. The sanctuary is holding a party for the humble bee-keeper who started the famous ‘bird park’. John Gass

Sanctuary founder celebrated

THE Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, or the Bird Sanctuary as it was known for nearly 50 years, started from humble beginnings in 1947.

What began as an attempt to keep mischievous lorikeets from attacking floriculturist and beekeeper Alex Griffiths' flowers and hives blossomed into an attraction for tourists and locals alike and a haven for wildlife.

October 5 marks the centenary of Alex Griffiths' birthday and although the sanctuary founder died in 1998 the facility is gearing up for a month-long celebration of his life and his legacy.

Sales Director Greg Davin said Griffiths fed the birds a mixture of bread water and honey on pie tins to prevent them from ravaging his prized blooms.

"The lorikeet feeding remains a hallmark attraction but the sanctuary is much more than that; it plays a vital role in wildlife health and conservation," he said

"And that is what we will celebrate during October."

The party will kick into full swing on October 5 when 1000 pupils from Currumbin State School gather with sanctuary mascots to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles on a giant cake.

Mr Davin said the most exciting was the restoration and commission of Mr Griffiths' beloved steam train.

"He loved the steam train and it has been out of commission for a couple of years," he said.

"It has been fully restored and will take to the tracks again on the weekend of 22nd."

The same weekend will include a gala charity ball with proceeds dedicated to the financially strained wildlife hospital.

Tickets for the ball can be purchased by contacting reception on 5534 1266.

Currumbin State School will turn out to sing happy birthday.


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