Matilda glows with Queensland pride

MATILDA the Commonwealth Games mascot may have showcased Brisbane and Australia to the world in 1982, but this week her focus has turned to Queensland.

The popular 13m-high kangaroo now resides at the Kybong Puma fuel station and has been lit up in maroon to throw a spotlight on Queensland Week.

The lights were switched on at 5.45pm on Monday during a ceremony attended by a number of guests and interested travellers.

Puma Kybong site owner Fiona Robinson said the kangaroo with the trademark wink had a special place in the hearts and minds of Gympie people.

"Everyone loves Matilda, and the Kybong community in particular have a special fondness for her," she said.

"People who have seen her in her maroon glory have been very supportive and have commented on how magnificent she is."

Queensland Week is centred around the state's birthday on June 6.

The week marks the state's official separation from New South Wales to become a state in its own right.

Puma Energy has more than 140 service stations across Queensland.

Hop to it

Originally built around a forklift, Matilda did a lap of honour during the 1982 Commonwealth Games, winking at numerous people including the Duke of Edinburgh. Her pouch then opened, allowing children dressed as joeys to run out into the stadium.

Matilda retired to live at Wet'n'Wild on the Gold Coast before being purchased by Matilda Fuel Supplies in 2011.

Refurbishments required before she went on display at Kybong included repainting, fibreglass repairs, steelworks replacements and automation technology.

Gympie Times

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