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You won't believe what former mayor Reg Kidd wants to do to Banjo Paterson's pipe

Former mayor Reg Kidd has strong views on Banjo Paterson's pipe. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By Peter Holmes

Former mayor Reg Kidd has launched an extraordinary campaign to have the pipe from Banjo Paterson's mouth removed on posters, saying it is sending a bad message to children in Orange.

Kidd told The Orange News Examiner in an exclusive interview that council should employ a local graphic designer to airbrush the pipe out of Paterson's mouth.

"The poster on the corner of Summer Street and Lords Place is a real concern for me," Kidd said.

"I think that the message it sends to kids is that council is endorsing the idea of smoking a pipe ... who knows what type of legal action this could lead to in the future."

Kidd said that although he "loved Banjo Paterson as much as the next bloke", he couldn't "stand by while youth were potentially lured into smoking via the man who wrote Waltzing Matilda".

"He also wrote The Man From Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow," Kidd added. "So I don't take this decision lightly."

The Orange News Examiner's junior intern has created an image of what Banjo might look like swapping his pipe for a lollipop.

The former mayor, who retired at the last council election, said he was expecting a backlash.

"I know they will say I'm woke and politically correct and a do-gooder and a snowflake and a Karen, but I feel very strongly about this."

Kidd said he was inspired to make a stand after watching a young person smoking and coughing near the Banjo Paterson poster at the CBD entrance to Robertson Park.

"This young fella was bent over coughing, and I wondered whether that Banjo poster had somehow encouraged him to smoke - who's to say whether it did or not?"

Former mayor Reg Kidd has made a bold play on Banjo. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

Asked whether the pipe should be replaced with something else, Kidd - who was recently made emeritus mayor of Orange after his long service in local government - suggested a lollipop.

"I don't know if lollipops were around then, but we can look into that," he said.

"Otherwise," he added, "we could get a local graphic designer to just fill in the gaps where the pipe was with a pencil."

Kidd said that "vapourising" was a big worry in the Central West.

"I've seen youth vapourising on these hand held machines, sucking the life out of them and expelling these great clouds of vapour. It distresses me to think Banjo might be partly responsible."

He has formed a group of likeminded locals, Remove the Pipe, and plans to lobby council in coming weeks.


Thanks to Reg Kidd for having some fun with The Orange News Examiner for April Fools Day. Obviously he doesn't want Banjo's pipe removed.


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