Many of you who attended the recent Dahlia and Arts
Festival may have wondered where the idea of the giant
head on Eaglehawk Secondary College’s float originated. 

ESC staff members, Sarena and Bec first started throwing ideas around one lunchtime, finally coming up with the idea of celebrating John Pearce’s 51 years contribution to the school and the community with the flavour of the King’s Coronation. The initial idea was to have a scarecrow on the back of the trailer and then create lots of decorations around it like gold stars with John Pearce’s face on them and handprints with messages of thanks on them. Sarena sought artistic advice from fellow staff member and local artist, Fiona Smith. Fiona reassuringly told Sarena to “leave it to me”. Little did they know that Fiona had a vision and was going spend the weekend creating the massive head “King Pearce”.

By Monday the head was half completed and it snowballed from there. Excitement amongst the students grew when the nearly finished head was unveiled. Fiona’s artistic ability really caught the exact image of John, and students and staff were stunned.

“The kids were amazing. They just got in and got everything done. They put John’s body together and painted all the signs”.

The excitement built even further when it all started coming together in that first week. The trailer was assembled and they sat the head on the back of the throne. But that wasn’t the end of the creativity. Sarena though, what about a flash mob at the end of the parade where we could all jump out and cheer on John. Was it a silly idea? or could we really pull it off? So it was decided – the ESC float was moved to the end of the parade to accommodate a flash mob consisting of prearranged students and community members.

Excitement amongst the organisers and students at school mounted. Someone suggested, “wouldn’t it be cool if there was a song with someone playing music right before the flash mob erupts?” It was discovered that John’s favourite song was Another one bites the dust, so a couple of music students were engaged to do a live gig. The music students were amazing, giving up recesses and lunchtimes to practice. It was a five-week project that involved over forty students and staff working collaboratively to honour one man.

At the conclusion of the parade, everyone was super excited at how successful it had turned out. Sarena, in particular, “We were just so happy about it, we couldn’t believe it had all come together so well after it being so challenging – it did our heads in for quite a bit of time, preparing it and getting it all organised was a lot of work”.

Thank YOU, Mr Pearce! 🙂


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