Dodgy Perth went to Forrest Place and noticed the two coats of arms on the Post Office had been removed. Both the Australian arms (above) and the British royal coat of arms. They’re gone because of yoof who decided it would be funny to smash them up.
Anyway, the office got thinking. We’ve heard various stories about why the kangaroo on the GPO’s Commonwealth coat of arms faces the wrong direction. On all the other coats of arms, the two delicious animals face each other.
Or to go all heraldic about it: why does the GPO have a sinister kangaroo regardant?
The best theory says because of swastikas, aliens, Masons, the illuminati and witchcraft. We don’t pretend to follow the argument, but we are convinced. Maybe.
Alternatively, the most popular tale concerns a sculptor who never got paid for his work, so the kangaroo looks back at the treasury as a rebuke.
We thought about this for a while.
So… the sculptor cast the coat of arms knowing in advance they wouldn’t get paid. And then no one noticed the sculpture was wrong when they put it up.
We back the illuminati story now.
But… Dodgy Perth is going can be the first to reveal the real, genuine, slightly mundane truth.
Take a look at the Commonwealth arms below:
This is the Old Parliament building in Canberra. It may look ordinary now. That’s because someone cut the head off the kangaroo and turned it round.
That’s right. The coat of arms on the national parliament once had a sinister kangaroo regardant. You were allowed creative licence in your interpretation in those days.
The reason was simple: both animals were looking at the royal coat of arms, which also adorned every Commonwealth building. It would have been rude for either kangaroo or emu to turn its back on the monarch.
Same reason goes for the GPO.
But the more observant among you will have noticed a tiny problem with this explanation. In Forrest Place, both bird and marsupial face away from the royal arms, which were on the GPO’s right.
Best explanation: the contractors who put them up weren’t told which one went where, and no one noticed on the day. If anyone commented later, it was too late to do anything about it. So for nine decades, kangaroo and emu have been studiously ignoring a succession of kings and queens of England.
Perhaps, now both coats of arms are in for repair, this is the ideal moment to put things back the way they were intended. Or make a republican statement and put them back the way they were.
One way or the other.