Greeting fellow maremmas. As loyal readers well know, it is now spring time in the sunny Mangamahu valley and mummy has been busy in the garden. Daddy has built her two new raised garden beds, out in the house garden and she has been industrious in the garden putting lots of lovely compost and soil into the beds, in preparation for planting more potatoes and eventually tomatoes. It is still too cold to plant out tomatoes. In New Zealand the traditional time to plant outside, such frost tender vegetables as tomatoes and zucchini is Labour weekend. Labour weekend falls on the last Monday of October, so mummy has some time up her sleeve to prepare the new garden beds. She says she can do it without our assistance. Love Jasper and Nellie, the two bestest maremmas in the land.
Mummy said she remembered to find an article from her weekly column. It is about a robot called Brosco.
Remember the day the Brosco the duralium, man powered, giant robot left Wellington to walk the 148 miles to Wanganui via Palmerston North, Bulls and Marton, in August 1960. Brosco’s walk was to publicise an Industrial Fair being held in Wanganui. The Industrial Fair had been organised by the Wanganui Jaycees and it was an anonymous Jaycee providing Brosco’s man power. Brosco stood 9ft 6” and was built at the workshop of Broome and Schott, panel-beaters in Marton. He started out his journey on the 19th August from Wellington carrying a message of greeting and good wishes from the Mayor of Wellington, Mr Frank Kitts to the Mayor of Wanganui, Mr Edward Millward. Brosco left Wellington intending to take a week to walk to Wanganui. Brosco had a public address system which informed the passer-by’s that he and they had a date at Wanganui’s Industrial Fair. He was liked to being a futuristic Pied Piper of Hamlin when several hundred of children followed behind him when he was lumbering through Plimmerton. Unfortunately, Brosco didn’t make it to Wanganui. He was run over in the main Street of Bulls by an impatient van driver. The injuries sustained to Brosco’s “man power” meant that he was unable to continue to Wanganui and he finally gave up just past Turakina due to an injury to his left ankle. Who was Brosco’s man power? In the newspaper article’s reporting Brosco’s journey he was referred to as “Mr X”. Even though Brosco was unable to complete his epic walk, nevertheless he was given a hero’s welcome when he walked up Victoria Avenue to the Veteran Steps. It was there that Brosco’s human operator identity was publicly revealed. He was Mario Gradolf, a Swiss born colour consultant who had represented the Swiss army in marathons and skiing. He had volunteered to be the human operator of Brosco. The Mayor read out the message of greeting from Mayor Kitts and gave Mr Gradolf with a miniature replica of Brosco made by an admirer. Brosco was then put on display at the Industrial Fair at the Wrights Stephenson wool store at Wanganui East.