Wednesday, 10 February 2016



"In the days of long ago", somewhere about the year 1876, some benevolently-inclined individual presented Mr. J.M. McQuade, J.P., with an Alpacca (sic), an American quadruped of the camel species. This animal was queer and uncanny-looking in the extreme, and there existed among the small boys, during the time of his rein in Windsor, a tradition to the effect that if, after being unduly tormented, he spat upon one of his assailants, that worthy would be doomed to instant extinction. With an extended camel-like head and neck, and long legs and body covered with coarse-looking wool, this particular alpaca was a source of such permanent annoyance to its proprietor that he, not to be outdone in generosity and large-heartedness, made a gift of it to the local Borough Council. For some time the animal wandered at will over the streets, terrifying all the small boys of the neighbourhood, and making even many of the adults quake with fear. Complaints came in very freely to the Council authorities of accidents caused to equestrians by the bobbing up serenely at unexpected corners of this queer-looking beast, and "unmerciful disaster followed fast and followed faster," until at last the body corporate began to repent of their acceptance of the objectionable present, and at length decided to exercise a generous spirit and give the brute away to no less a person than the gentleman who presented it to them in the first instance. The result was that Mr. J.M. McQuade, the next victim, received the following communication, dated March 17, 1876:-
I have the honour by direction of the Mayor, to inform you that a meeting of the Borough
Council held on Wednesday, March 15, 1876, it was resolved that a letter be addressed to you,
respectfully requesting that you would be pleased to take charge of the alpace (sic).
I am, yours obediently,
Council Clerk.
Ultimately Mr. Alpaca was taken charge of by Mr. Mc Quade, and for years it browsed on the sweet and succulent herbage which grew in the police paddock and in the enclosure at the rear of the court-house. Its repeated freaks and vagaries, productive of a series of mishaps, rendered it such a permanent nuisance, however, that at length flesh and bone could stand it no longer, and the animal was handed over to Mr. Richard Ridge, who had it executed through the medium of a gun-shot one fine morning and while he resided in Windsor its skin decorated part of his pretty residence in Macquarie-street. Thus ended the career of the first and only Alpaca brought to this town, a beast of which most of those who resided in town at the time have vivid recollection, by reason of the circumstance that few of them failed at some period or other to suffer in some way from.

(Windsor and Richmond Gazette 7th December, 1890)

No comments:

Post a Comment