Penguin is a wonderful town. With a name like Penguin, you couldn’t go wrong, could you? What a hoot … or a peep … or a chirp.
The residents of Penguin, Tasmania, seem to think it’s a laugh, too. They are terribly good-humoured about their title and have decided to run with the penguin theme. The centrepiece of Penguin’s main park is a giant concrete penguin, the rubbish bins are guarded by bands of penguins, the playground has a penguin see-saw, the shops sport penguin statues, penguin ornaments and penguin pictures and every organisation places the town name at the start of its title.
‘So what?’ you might say. ‘Loads of places put the town name on their signs.’
Ah, but they don’t have a quirky town name that makes everything sound hilarious! The vet becomes the Penguin Vet. The Senior Citizens Hall becomes the Penguin Senior Citizens Hall. Meals on Wheels becomes Penguin Meals on Wheels. The gaol becomes the Penguin Gaol. See? It’s terribly funny. Within moments of scanning the town centre, you have a mental image of a very special community that has vets and bakeries and fruit stores that are run specifically for penguins. Criminal penguins in this town are being locked in the Penguin Gaol (where, no doubt, they get fed on dry fish and water). Penguin Meals on Wheels is catering for penguins who need a little extra support at home, or perhaps the meals are being taken to the usual human residents by a band of kindly penguins. Either way, penguins and people are smiling all round.
If you’re travelling across the north of Tasmania, I strongly recommend a side trip to Penguin. And not just to giggle about the penguins. This little town hugs a very pretty part of the coastline, bakes great pies and cakes at the local bakery, lets dogs run free on their beach and has the most amazing floral garden lining their strip of the east-west railway.
I love Penguin!
(I also love penguins.)