- 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
(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.
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.