Moon Man’s new friends

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by Mary McConville


On the 8th of October this year, just before noon, old Mr Moon, the face of Luna Park, was joined by a group of his new friends. He was introduced to them by Melbourne artist Mark Ogge whose creativity had brought them into being. There are seven of these new friends and all of them are musicians. They stand tall, at 10 metres.

Mr Moon is a very old man. He would have been eligible for the Queen’s telegram in 2012, having been introduced to the populace before the Great War (WW1) in 1912. The introduction was performed by the then Minister for External Affairs, Mr Thomas and Councillors O’Donnelly and Hennessy and witnessed by Luna Park’s owner J.D. Williams.

According to the Argus journalist who reported on the opening on the 14th December in 1912 Mr Moon was smiling horribly and rolling his eyes as people walked in under his upper teeth. His silver coloured and ferocious face sits between two 80 ft. towers and was illuminated by a galaxy of electric bulbs,

Behind the face and behind the smile of the grotesque Mr Moon were the many amusements designed to entertain the people. There was a switchback railway, a water feature of the “River and Caves of the World”, a Ferris Wheel and a simulated journey amongst the planets.

Once your stomach has settled after all these rides, you could walk over to see Mr Eugene D’arcy’s popular play “Pharaoh’s Daughter” . If you had turned to the left as you entered you would have found the Whitney Brothers’ Hall of Follies. Here you could feed the slot machines after changing your Australian money for American coins. The skilful and sharp eyed could check out the stalls and rifle ranges that gave out the rather masculine prizes of cigars and walking sticks.

Today’s Luna Park still has the old roller coaster which simulates the thrills and landscapes of a Scenic Railway. It is a large wooden construction, the oldest continually operated  wooden roller coaster in the world and it is the only one  that still has a standing brakeman on its moving carriages.

Why not make a day of it and come to Luna Park to see the new faces and enjoy the old thrills.

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