A man called… Cunnamulla?

TAKE a bow Elina, take a bow Arnold!

As for the rest of, we should probably be ashamed of ourselves. Why didn’t we see it as clearly as they did. Mr Arnold Lakamanga and Ms Elina Gasethegna have not followed the common herd and named places after people – they’ve blazed a new trail; they’ve named people after places!

Their twin boys are now proudly carrying the names Townsville and Thuringowa. No matter that there will be some arguments when letters arrive to Master T. Lakamanga; they can sort that out later. The point is that they have done what others should have done, but didn’t.

If Townsville is such a great place how come the Mayor, Councillor Tony Mooney, doesn’t have a child called Townsville? How come Jack Wilson, who for years has championed the Esplanade against hoons and hooligans, doesn’t have a child called Esplanande. Or Es, for short.

It might not be everyone’s taste, of course. But even the chicken-hearted could use Maggie, and pay a compliment to Maggie Island.

Me? If I hadn’t already christened mine a long, long time ago I’d have one now called Water Park, to honour that amazing children’s playground on Jack’s Esplanade.

She’d be called Wart for short, of course, but you can’t have everything.

Apart from anything else Townsville and Thuringowa (the twins) are always going to know where they were born.

Well, Townsville is. If Elina and Arthur had been going down that track Thuringowa wouldn’t have been called Thuringowa, but Hospital, but that wasn’t what they had in mind. It was the twin cities they wanted to celebrate and they’ve beaten us all to it with their innovative genius.

Maybe they could celebrate their suburb, Hyde Park, too: Townsville Hyde and Thuringowa Park. The possibilities are endless

Actually, no.

There are some places it just isn’t going to work.

I mean, how would you feel if you had to walk around all your life with Seventeen Seventy Six for a name?

Or Cairns?

Especially Cairns.

A child called Cairns would always feel it had never had a proper start in life. It would develop dangerous complexes because it wasn’t as good as those nice children, Townsville and Thuringowa.

And you might like Cunnamulla a lot but you’d want to think twice before you bestowed it on your child.

You could embrace the entire state in one go and christen your child Queensland, but not, perhaps, if it’s a boy.

I see a hidden danger, though. If we start naming people after places we could end up coming full circle. Douglas is a nice place, maybe, but if you called your son Douglas no-one is going to say, “Wow, interesting name. How’d you come up with that?’

On the other hand calling your daughter Douglas could cause all sorts of complications.

Joking aside, though, I reckon it’s quite something when two people can love a place enough to bestow it on their children. If we all had that kind of civic pride there’d be no hoons on the Esplanade, no litter in the parks, and no fag ends in the gutters.

So congratulations Elina; congratulations Arnold! You’ve paid not only your children a compliment, but every one of the rest of us, too.