At Warragamba four men loaded the horse trailer and we headed to the annual tourism expo at Darling Harbour.
Travelling down the Great Western Hwy other drivers hit their brakes or swerved well clear of our vehicle. Some honked their horns.
As tourism managers we often felt we were the poor cousins of our industry. After enquiring where we were from, other officers would sneer at the mention of Campbelltown and Liverpool. Of course, they were from more glamorous or exciting destinations like Port Macquarie and Broken Hill.
Debbie deftly backed the trailer at the exhibition centre’s loading dock.
As we started to walk around to the back of the trailer one of our snooty colleagues from a luxurious region got out of her car. “Oh, you here again this year? You won’t beat our stand. Look at all these stunning flowers we brought.”
Never one to be phased by people trying one up man ship, Debbie coolly replied, “Wait until your see what we have here.”
As we lowered the back of the trailer the jaw dropped on the snobby colleague’s face when we revealed our treasure – Leo the Lion in roaring position.
No Leo wasn’t a live lion. He had been once, and lived at the African Lion Safari, Warragamba. After dying of natural causes, he was stuffed and mounted on a large rock shaped block.
As we travelled through the Sydney streets Leo stood taller than the closed ramp and was facing outwards. Very few would have realised at first glance he was not a live lion.