In 1993, we received a petition from an 8 year old school girl, Rebecca Hart and her class mates asking Melba’s to make an Easter Bilby.
The petition was one of the cutest pieces of correspondence we had seen and its request was irresistible.
One morning a staff member mentioned the Brisbane Courier Mail had run a story that The Easter Bilby wouldn’t get off the ground, I rang the journalist and told him he was wrong as we were being hassled by a department store in the city that we agreed to supply with Easter Bilbys.
I was able to inform the Journo the department store had a queue of people from the confectionery counter across the store and into Grenfell Street waiting to buy an Easter Bilby.
In the following days the Journo wrote a story about the Bilbies success in South Australia, the phone almost rang off the wall as the article included our phone number AND the story was syndicated in all the Eastern states newspapers, “The Bilby had become a Monster”.
In the following months moulds of other animals were produced – quoll, bettong, echidna.
One day a fellow rang saying he was Ian Macnamara and would like to do an interview, I got off the phone and said some bloke called Macca wants me to be at Belair National Park at 6am on a Sunday, I said he’s gotta be kidding, I soon learnt who Macca was.
Picture 1 is Rebbecca Hart with one of the first Bilbys made.
Picture 2 was at 1994 Sydney Holiday and Travel Show, where Joy and I did a stage presentation. The Bilby was little known in Sydney most people thought the suit was of a rat.
The Easter Bilby has done an amazing job of educating our children (and Parents) of our endangered species.
Melba’s conducted promotions at most of the States holiday promotions for 3-4 years.
Graeme & Joy Foristal
Find out more about Melba’s Easter Range HERE