The bush turkey is Kyogle couple John and Chrystine Grahams long-time vision, creation and gift to the town.
The bush turkey is Kyogle couple John and Chrystine Grahams long-time vision, creation and gift to the town. Marc Stapelberg

Town in a flap over big bush turkey

ONE proud resident has put Kyogle on the map by immortalising a giant bush turkey for the town.

The 16-tonne 8.5m wide, 4m high and 200mm thick concrete statue was put up on Monday and cannot be missed as you head into Kyogle from Casino on Summerland Way.

The bush turkey is Kyogle man John Graham's long-time vision, creation and gift to the town.

"I've been wanting to do it for a few years and it feels great to finally get it up," Mr Graham said.

"I've lived here for all of my 66 years and spent my whole life with bush turkeys, I've always liked them.

"I also did it because the name Kyogle means bush turkey in Aboriginal ... that's why we are called the turkey town."

Kyogle's bush turkey: John and Chrystine Graham explain why they've built a giant bush turkey.

After handing down his business, Graham's Concrete, to his sons Mr Graham occasionally takes trips in his motorhome with wife Chrystine. It was on one such trip he had his turkey epiphany.

"Every town I go into has something, a dairy cow or some other big thing," he said.

"I said to my sons I'd like to put a big turkey up for the town.

"One son's got the pre-cast and one's got the ready mix ... they told me to go for it and they would make it happen, so I did."

Kyogle's new bush turkey was a month in the making, and because of its size it was constructed entirely on site.

"We split it up, poured it on the ground and stood it up," he said.

"It cost me less because my sons helped, but it's not about the money.

"I don't want any thanks for it ... I didn't want recognition for it or for anyone to even know I did it."

Despite this, John's daughter Tracey O'Reilly broke the news to the public on the Kyogle Friendly Towns Facebook page on Monday by posting photos and "at absolutely no cost to the tax payer or rate payer. All done by a born and bred passionate, proud resident of Kyogle, by the name of John Graham. Gobble Gobble Gobble."

The post generated more than 400 likes on Facebook, 45 shares and 70 comments from users.

"I'm happy with the response and everyone seems to like it, " Mr Graham said.

"What Tracey said on Facebook was really nice.

"We hope the town enjoys it."

He thanked his grand sons, who are the sixth generation of Graham's in Kyogle, Floyd Graham, Tom O'Reilly for helping along with his sons Peter and Rodney. He further thanked Steve O'Reilly, Casey, who helped with the steel mould and Richard and Narelle Vary for letting them put the turkey up on their land.

"I have to thank my wife Chrystine," Mr Graham said.

"She had something to do with all aspects of the turkey, we'd talk about it in bed of a night.

"I put a fair bit of work into it, a fair bit of thought."