Cockie Duggan Day

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A history-loving resident of North Melbourne, Brendan Gleeson, has written a poem about a sulphur-crested cockatoo called “Cockie” Duggan. 

Brendan has done some research into the life of Cockie, who lived with the Duggan family at the Court House Hotel. 

There is some conjecture as to his age, but Brendan thinks the bird lived until 100 and that a commemorative day should be established in his memory. 

“We don’t know Cockie’s birthday, but we know his date of death and hence his anniversary, June 13, 2001,” Mr Gleeson said.

 

“Each June 13 henceforth could be celebrated as ‘Cockie Duggan Day’, something to break open the depths of winter to the warm memory of an Errol St legend.”

 

Cockie was a long-term resident at the hotel, spending most of his time on a perch in the back yard next to the men’s toilets. 

His repertoire included a more than passable imitation of men being sick.

On more than one occasion, Cockie Duggan flew to the top of the flagpole on the Town Hall, refused to leave and so had to be collected by the caretaker.

The bird was donated to the Melbourne Zoo and Brendan has tracked down his records.

When he arrived, he was already very old. There is a note on his file that an elderly lady used to come and see him in the late 1970s. •

Ode to the King

Cockie Duggan
Ruled the Gents
At the Courthouse Hotel
He was full of
Common scents
That he’d regularly expel
In a retching refrain
To explain…
In opening hours
His lordship
Wielding special powers
From his throne
Listened in on subjects
Pleading with God
On the
White telephone
After bugging each
Combustive collogue
The old royal rogue
Would loudly play back
The highlights
The best were
Supplied by
Footy pie nights
The earth suffering
Monarch
Craved attention
For a royal role
Causing him to skylark
Fiendishly atop
The Town Hall
Flagpole
Equally long suffering
Caretaker Jock
Would gallantly ascend
To retrieve
‘The bloody thing’
Crowd cheering
A rescue
Fit for a king
One day his retainers
Suddenly shot through
And Cockie was banished
To the Royal Melbourne Zoo
Where for years
He scared kids
With a thunderous
Chunder or two

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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