Melbourne without its W-class trams? Darling, it’s just inconceivable.
In an interview Sunday with The Age newspaper, Oscar-winning Australian animator Adam Elliott offered his support for the campaign to save Melbourne’s remaining W-class trams from extinction.
According to the article by Ruth Williams, Mr. Elliott “called on Melburnians to ‘strongly demand’ that the state government reconsider its plan to retire the W-class green and yellow trams from service in 2012,” and he invoked several other cultural icons in the process.
“The W-class tram is such a precious Melbourne icon that its removal would be like Edna not living in Moonee Ponds, Leunig not having his weekly cartoons in The Age, and Luna Park not having a mouth,” Mr. Elliott told The Age, further adding that “Australians have very little history; what they have should be treasured and respected.” (Read more about Luna Park and its relationship with Melbourne’s trams in this post.)
For those who don’t know her (and you may very well be beneath contempt), Dame Edna Everage is Australia’s most famous “Giga-star,” an outspoken — ahem — housewife from the Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds. You know, Moonee Ponds? As in the terminus of the famous cross-suburban route 82 tram from Footscray?
If you will forgive a bit of self-indulgence, recall my post from last week, entitled: “God Save the Ws: Preventing cultural vandalism in Melbourne” (and thanks to all who commented on the post or sent messages). Sunday’s latest Age report comes as welcome confirmation that the notion of trams as cultural heritage is not confined to tram enthusiasts. Mr. Elliott, creator of the Academy Award-winning animated film “Harvie Krumpet,” clearly knows a thing or two about culture. As reported by The Age, he is among “several high-profile members of the arts community who have backed the campaign.”
Also notably quoted in the latest Age story? David Parker, screenwriter behind the 1986 film “Malcolm,” about Melbourne a tram enthusiast (also see last week’s post).
“There’s nothing unique about the new trams; you can see those sorts of trams anywhere in the world,” Mr. Parker told the newspaper.