Dragon awakens to receive his makeover

NICOLA KALMARBroome Advertiser

At the ripe old age of 10, the body of Shinju Matsuri mascot Sammy the Dragon has had close encounters with fireworks, tied himself in knots at training and brought in and closed the annual celebrations.

Getting a long overdue makeover, repairs and plenty of TLC from artistic restorer and friend Gwen Knox, the project has been assisted by a restoration grant from Shire of Broome.

A little worse for wear since performing at the past 10 years of festivals, Sammy took a well deserved rest at the civic centre, and last week Sammy enjoyed a bit of pampering.

Ms Knox said she was delighted to be restoring Sammy, ready with the task of giving him a makeover , but the biggest challenge was finding an ideal home for him.

“The huge issue in the town is there are few safe reliable storage facilities for artefacts,” she said.

“Sammy has been subject to humidity and infestation. He needs a lot of care and love.”

Also known as Son of Sammy, this Sammy Dragon and its predecessor were purchased and transported from China to Australia by patron Brian Coppin.

Mr Coppin still takes an active role in assessing the needs of Sammy and funding the ongoing restoration project.

Ms Knox said she was ready with the task of making over Sammy, but the biggest challenge was finding an ideal home for him.

Ms Knox said she was delighted to be restoring Sammy to his old self, and will would be devoting at least e a few weeks work to repairing him ahead of this year’s festival. Shinju Matsuri will be previewed at the North West Expo this weekend, May 7-8.

Little Sammy will be on the Main Stage at 10:05am on Saturday and Shinju Matsuri will be at site number 1.

Shinju Matsuri will be held from September 10 to 18 September.

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