THE next time you’re in Neck Point Park and you’re certain you saw movement in the corner of your eye, only to turn and find nothing there, it just might just be one or more members of the Neck Point gnome colony on security patrol.
They’ve been on guard since they recently became victims of theft.
Sometime in mid July, culprits unknown stole six of the gnome home doors that have been an attraction for children of all ages since their creator, Charlie Pickard, a retired engineering project manager, made the doors to attract a splinter group of gnomes from Cathedral Grove to form a colony at Neck Point.
Pickard discovered the thefts when he walked through the park on a routine gnome home doors maintenance inspection.
“It was interesting for me because I went, ‘No. This can’t be happening,’ but I wasn’t angry. I was just really disappointed somebody would do that,” Pickard said.
He went home and immediately made six new doors, which worked out well since the gnomes, who he said had to stay with relatives until their homes were back in order, had already decided to commission Pickard to build replacements.
“They were really surprised. Quite shocked actually,” Pickard said. “In fact, they all had to go back to Morrell and Cathedral Grove to spend time until I got the new ones back in, eh. Well, some went to Morrell, but I got the word out there from the other guys and they’re all back now.”
Now that the doors have been replaced, Pickard is in his workshop doing maintenance work on the ones that were left behind and creating new commissioned gnome home doors for people who want to offer foster homes to gnome colonies elsewhere. He receives orders from as far away as South America.
That’s not to say Neck Point Park’s gnomes aren’t still a tad miffed over the disruption to their preferred peaceful lifestyle. Pickard said the gnomes and fairies who live in Neck Point, Morrell Sanctuary, Victoria’s Royal Oak Cemetery and elsewhere could unleash their own special flavour of repercussions on the guilty parties, should they venture back into the park anytime soon.
“Oh, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody,” Pickard said. “Next time you come to the park every animal will know about it. All the animals, the birds, they know what’s going on. They don’t miss a thing. Oh, gosh, yes. If I was the person that took them I certainly wouldn’t be going back there.”
Tuesday’s thunder and lightning might even have been a sign the culprits might already have ran afoul of the gnomes.