Our School Mascot
Lowood SS has a very unique and distinctive school mascot which is steeped in history and mystery! Horis the Bunyip is the easily recognisable figure associated with our school. Together with his cousins, Boris (the library book returns bunyip) and Doris (the classroom-visiting book bunyip), Horis is the team leader and symbol of Lowood’s sporting and academic teams and accompanies staff and students to community events and carnivals.
The story of the Lowood bunyip dates back to the early 1890s with rumours abounding that there was an animal of the alligator species living in the Brisbane River following the great flood of 1893. The first sighting occurred after calves began disappearing mysteriously in the district. It was suggested they were pulled into the river by a bunyip, and the sight of a queer animal in the water seemed to confirm the story.
Several fishing parties reported being disturbed by the appearance of the ‘monster’, while others claimed the animal was seen to come out of the river at night and attack cattle grazing on the bank. One report was to the effect that a calf was carried bodily into the water and devoured. The monster was described by some who saw it as being something similar to a Newfoundland dog with a ferocious head and large tusks. Others affirmed that it had wings or large fins and yet resembled an alligator in its motions when on dry land.
One night in 1898, a party of possum shooters fired on a "weird creature" crossing the river in the moonlight. The whole district was soon agog with excitement. A reward of £200 was offered for the capture of the bunyip, alive or dead and the Lowood Bunyip was soon front page news in a number of southern newspapers.
In September 1951, the local bunyip is thought to have made a reappearance in the Brisbane River near the town when it was ‘caught’ by a local fisherman, running out 100yards of fishing line before snapping it from the reel. Local veterans claimed that they had not heard previously of a fresh water fish doing anything like that so quickly.
The next recorded appearance of the bunyip was in 1981, when it was photographed at dawn in the river adjacent to the town of Lowood. This sighting again generated widespread interest with a picture gracing the front page of the Queensland Times. Interestingly, this sighting occurred in the week of the Lowood State School centenary, and it is believed to have been the excitement generated by centenary celebrations that lured the bunyip back to the area.
Some intrepid and brave locals, including the Police Sergeant, trapped the elusive creature and it was a huge attraction during the parade through town to mark our school’s 100 years. It is believed that the bunyip was released back into the river following the parade and is still living there awaiting the next school celebration.