Haig Park: named after World War I hero Earl Haig, right?
At a mere two years of age, Canberra was graced with the presence of its own magical creatures: beings which go by the name of ‘Haigers’. In the early 1920s their chosen place of residence was named Haig Park in their honour, and donations of food lined Northbourne Avenue in the hopes of keeping them in Australia’s capital city.
Decades later, unfortunately, the detestable rumour was spread about Haig Park’s ‘true’ namesake (whether Canberrans truly stopped believing, or were merely no longer bothered to donate food, I do not know), and the Haigers slipped out of public knowledge, struggling for survival for several years as a result. So used to the frequent home-delivery of nourishment, their limbs had lost their nimbleness, and try as they may to use Canberra’s wildlife to journey into the city, the animals would often eat the food before they could deliver it back to Haig Park (ibises were the worst for this, and Haiger frustration with these birds actually caused their near extinction in Canberra).
Fortunately, the construction of the Australian National University’s Fenner Hall brought new hope to the Haigers. They have grown to love the wobbly-walking, word-slurring students who make their way from Mooseheads towards their Braddon residence on Thursday nights, dropping pieces of Maccas as they go. Haigers are wholly satisfied with this way of life, and have shown their appreciation by donning these fast-food wrappers as their new outfits and by creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and kinship for Fenner Hall residents as they trot to and from the city centre.
Just think how the creatures will feel once they discover that Fenner Hall be moved far away from Braddon, and that a light rail will be constructed along Northbourne too. Thanks to these changes, fewer people will pass Haig Park to scraps of food in the years to come, and the light of Maccas’ Golden Arches will become confined to a human container zooming past along two ridges of steel.
Please, dear reader, do not allow this Fennerless, light-railed future to arrive. Rise up against these changes, for the sake of the Haigers.
A concerned resident of Fenner Hall.
Illustration: Katie Ward