THE iconic sculpture of King Neptune in Two Rocks reopened this week, with students among the first to visit it.
Resident Margie Rose said a group of 10 volunteers had formed the Two Rocks Environment and Development Association (TREADA) and been restoring the statue and surrounds since February.
“TREADA has had three busy bee days – we have planted native plants that have been kindly donated from the Yanchep National Park volunteer centre,” she said.
“Hopefully by spring we will have all this revegetated through here.”
Mrs Rose said the Atlantis Beach estate developers and Adrian Fini, landowner of the former Atlantis Marine Park, had provided funds to restore the statue.
In January, the developers hired Yanchep Maintenance, and business owner Dave Bowen said it had taken three days to seal and repaint the statue to cover about 20 years of graffiti.
“I’ve been a local resident for 11 years – this to me was a complete community type of exercise; everybody benefits,” he said.
Mrs Rose said her vision had been to maintain and care for the heritage-listed statue and allow the pubic to see it up close.
“There are many people who have fond memories of Atlantis Marine Park,” she said.
“I used to work at Atlantis during the holidays on the hot dog stand.
“I feel very honoured in taking care of our town’s icon, who has been neglected for many years.
“He has been restored to his former glory and as a community we can be proud to call him ours.
“I’m looking forward to people taking their photos with him again.”
Two Rocks Primary School students, whose school emblem is King Neptune, gathered around the statue on Tuesday to release a cloud of balloons.
Too young to have visited the marine park when it was open in the 1980s, students, including head boy Oscar Plant (11) and head girl Charlotte Atyeo (11), enjoyed their first visit to the sculpture.
“He has been here for a very long time – I think he was a tourist attraction for Atlantis park,” Charlotte said.
The area around King Neptune is still fenced, with TREADA volunteers opening the gate daily to allow public access along a repaired path.
“I am at the king daily checking fence lines (and) to make sure the area is free from vandalism,” Mrs Rose said.
“TREADA volunteers will take care of opening and closing daily, and ongoing care of King Neptune and his surrounding area.
“I would also like to thank the community of Two Rocks, specifically the 1000-eyes squad who watch out for King Neptune.”
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