A MEMORIAL dedicated to a Gold Coast woman who helped change the city has been stolen, leaving family members looking for answers and a community furious.

The figurine 'Joie de vie', a memorial for Beryl Carnell, was removed from its location in the Farmer Family Park in Currumbin.

The figurine ‘Joie de vie’, a memorial for Beryl Carnell has gone missing. Facebook group I remember the Playroom
The figurine ‘Joie de vie’, a memorial for Beryl Carnell has gone missing. Facebook group I remember the Playroom

 

Ms Carnell was an icon of the Gold Coast following a long stint owning and running the Playroom, starting in Currumbin before moving to Tallebudgera from 1966 until she sold it in 1987.

Starting the venture with her husband Claude Carnell, the pair's separation left Ms Carnell to run the business by herself and she became the first female licensee in Queensland.

Exteriors of the Playroom at Tallebudgera.
Exteriors of the Playroom at Tallebudgera.

 

Beryl Carnell 16 Playroom Rock Central 3 Sharpened Picture: Supplied
Beryl Carnell 16 Playroom Rock Central 3 Sharpened Picture: Supplied

Her son Brett Carnell found his mother's memorial was missing on Friday when he went to capture it for his Facebook group I remember the Playroom, to celebrate what would have been Ms Carnell's 91st birthday.

Posting that the statue has gone missing on the Facebook group over 100 people shared it and numerous comments said the act by the vandal was "disrespectful".

Brett Carnell stands beside the memorial for Beryl Carnell which has been damaged at the Farmer Family Park Currumbin. Photograph: Jason O'Brien
Brett Carnell stands beside the memorial for Beryl Carnell which has been damaged at the Farmer Family Park Currumbin. Photograph: Jason O'Brien

Mr Carnell said the outpouring from the community about the vandalism demonstrates what his mother meant to the Gold Coast.

"She was always a generous spirit, who made people feel happy and brought the community together," he said.

"No bad words are said about me, she is one of those iconic people that everybody just loved."

Beryl Carnell and Johnny O'Keefe 1968 Picture: Supplied
Beryl Carnell and Johnny O'Keefe 1968 Picture: Supplied

 

Beryl Carnell With Thin Lizzy Picture: Supplied
Beryl Carnell With Thin Lizzy Picture: Supplied

 

The artwork is a feature in the Southern Gold Coast Art Trail and was created by Frank Miles after Ms Carnell's passing in 2008.

"It's a large piece of artwork, it's not easy to cart around. It's concerning not knowing where it is," he said.

"If it is a targeted attack of vandalism it's a very mean spirited one, but I reckon if they knew the history of mum and the people she has helped then they might have looked elsewhere.

"It's not just sad for me but for lots of members in the community."

Beryl Carnell with Thin Lizzy.
Beryl Carnell with Thin Lizzy.

 

It's not the first time the statue had been vandalised with it being thrown down the banks of Currumbin early last year, but that time the memorial was found and repaired.

Mr Carnell is hoping the statue will be found this time and said he'll contact the Gold Coast City Council to discuss what to do if it is not.

"The location of the statue being where it was is several fold. It's only 100 metres away from the house mum lived in for almost 50 years, and also it's only 400 metres away from where mum and dad had the Currumbin Playroom Cabaret in the late 1950s," he said.

"It's for the whole of the Gold Coast. I was talking to a woman on James St the day before the statue went missing and she said how special it is to have something to remember mum and how seeing it put a smile on her face."

 

Originally published as 'Disrespectful': Tribute to Coast stalwart stolen



Comedian tells Qld why Gympie is next big thing in tourism

Premium Content Comedian tells Qld why Gympie is next big thing in tourism

The state-wide live streaming event will feature seven Queensland comedians arguing...

Exciting new digital future for The Gympie Times

Premium Content Exciting new digital future for The Gympie Times

For more than 153 years, The Gympie Times has covered this region with passion and...

Gympie golf pro offering free ‘come and try’ clinic

Premium Content Gympie golf pro offering free ‘come and try’ clinic

“This is a great opportunity to become involved in golf while having fun learning a...