• Belfast Between The Wars

FATAL ACCIDENT TO ALEC

Northern Whig, Wednesday 11th December 1929


Alec, the goose that was such a familiar figure at Cromac Square, Belfast, was killed yesterday by a motor bus.


Miss McAllister, the owner of the bird, wept bitterly when the news was conveyed to her.


"I don't know," she said, "what I shall do without him. I have had him for six years, and it is a great blow to me. As a rule, motor drivers were most careful, and even if Alec got in the way they stopped. His companions are fretting and crying about him and they fully realise their friend has gone."


Northern Whig, Friday 13th December 1929


THE DAY'S DITTY


TO ALEC


(The Cromac Square gander, who was killed by a lorry on Tuesday).


You were a goose, they said,

And yet, now that you're dead,

You leave behind a mem'ry warm and sweet;

So that the Press declare

Alec of Cromac Square,

And folks remember when they walk that street.


'Twas strange that your decease

Came at a time when geese

Were getting it extremely in the neck;

And, though another grace

Our festive Yuletide place,

We still will hear your contemplative quack.


N.B. - How often it was said

Of famous men now dead,

"You are a goose!"


- Ruddick Millar


Larne Times, Saturday 7th December 1929


THE GEESE IN CROMAC SQUARE, BELFAST


We're always making changes

In the streets of old Belfast;

And the young soon grow impatient

With the relics of the past.

Go ahead with new improvements,

Make the city clean and fair,

But, in pity's name I beg you,

Spare the geese in Cromac Square.


Amid the city's bustle

And the sound of hurrying feet,

The grinding of the tramcars

And the traffic on the street.

With a calm, reposeful presence

And a faint, astonished air,

Wondering at our frenzied hustle,

Reign the geese in Cromac Square.


They say a goose is stupid,

But it can't be true of these,

For it's we who dodge the flying cars

While they sit at their ease.

A foolish puppy barks at them

And then repents full sore;

For they act with quick decision

And a nice esprit de corps.


They move like soldiers on parade

In closely serried ranks.

Too mindful of their dignity

To play at silly pranks -

Full worthy of their ancestors

Who heard their country's call.

And, when citizens were sleeping,

Saved the Roman Capitol.


Let poulterers in greed of gold

Be not too rash, I beg,

For one of these may be the goose

That lays the golden egg!

The unromantic turkey's

Quite enough for Christmas fare,

And he's got no claim on history

Like the geese in Cromac Square.


They're friends of all the citizens

Who pass in bus or tram;

We like them every bit as much

As Mary did her lamb.

The passers-by all crane their necks

To see if they're still there;

So here's long life and freedom

To the geese in Cromac Square.


S.


To read more about Alec and the sculpture of him at St George's Market click here.


To find out more about the artist behind the sculpture (Gordon Muir) click here.