Resurfaced mermaid not such a fishy tale
While the sighting of a mermaid on Susan Island turned out to be an April Fool's Day hoax, there is an element of truth to the resurrection of a blue-haired young woman with a fish-like tail.
Grafton Rowing Club, who created Clarissa the Queen of the Clarence, plan to give her a permanent home adjacent to the club's rowing shed.
Club members have commissioned the Men's Shed and Image Windows to construct a structure which should be completed by mid-April.
The Grafton Rowing Club has registered the name "Clarissa, Queen of the Clarence" and is pleased to present Clarissa to the Clarence Valley Council at no cost to help promote the river and the area.
They are hopeful the attraction of Clarissa grows and she can utilised as an icon for the Clarence Valley.
"She could feature on highway signage to encourage tourists to visit the city," Grafton Rowing Club member John Pullinger said.
"The grey nomads, caravanners and motorhome fraternities could well use her in their publications."
Mr Pullinger suggested building her story upon the historical legend of Captain Freeburn, who crossed the notorious Yamba bar in his ship, the Susan, without incident between 80 and 100 times.
"It was said that he had outside help with navigating the bar, which in those days had no other aids whatsoever," he explained.
"This help was rumoured to be two mermaids who guided him, one to port and one to starboard, through the dangerous crossing.
"When Captain Freeburn sold the Susan and retired to Grafton the new owners floundered on the bar on their first attempt and the ship was lost.
"The story grows that the mermaids returned to the Susan Island area with their master Captain Freeburn."