Pet Porpoise Pool marks 40 years

AN exhibition of cartoons by Pet Porpoise Pool founder Hec Goodall will be staged at the Bunker Cartoon Gallery in January to mark 40 years of the landmark local marine attraction he founded in 1970 and steered to national prominence.

He fought State and Federal governments, the local council and the animal liberation movement for more than 23 years to keep the Pet Porpoise Pool open, and the fact that Coffs Harbour today has the state’s only dolphinarium is thanks to his fighting spirit and his expertise in caring for marine mammals.

During his time, the pool was used as a base for humpback whale research by the Australian Museum for more than 10 years, as well as a focus for marine mammal strandings and injured wildlife generally.

One of Coffs Harbour’s ‘living treasures’, the 83-year-old marine mammal expert, who is still the Pet Porpoise Pool’s major shareholder, is also well-known for his cartoons and illustrations.

Many of his cartoons on topical issues have been published in the Coffs Coast Advocate.

This week Mr Goodall recalled that the loss of the two cranes on the Coffs Harbour jetty and the scrapping of the old steam crane, featured recently in ‘Looking Back’, had both seen him reach for his pen to dash off cartoons.

This year he has been producing cartoons and illustrations for children’s books and brochures in Cambodia. The aim is to alert Cambodians to the plight of their endangered freshwater dolphins in the Mekong River, part of a World Wildlife Fund project to save the dolphins from extinction.

He has just been invited to spearhead a WWF project to save dolphins that were stranded in isolated pools by water receding after the floods in Pakistan.

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