When Sydney is deserted after the apocalypse one voice will call out day and night through the near-silent streets.
As people emerge from their bunkers and return to the CBD a comforting voice will summon them to a wishing well outside the QVB. “Hello, my name is Islay,” a bronze dog will greet them, as it does every minute, every day. “I was once the companion and friend of the great Queen Victoria.”
The statue of Queen Vic’s favourite Skye terrier was erected above the wishing well in 1987. A stone from the Blarney Castle was also embedded in the brickwork, too.
The dog explains that: “Because of the many good deeds I have done for deaf and blind children I have been given the power of speech.” We don’t know why it was given the voice of talkback king John Laws.
Built without the benefit of motion detectors, the dog is forced to make this spiel every forty seconds, lest someone walk past without paying it heed. Late at night drunks turn looking for the speaker, and worry that the voices in their head have started again.
Tourists stopping at the fountain are told: “If you cast a coin into the wishing well now, I will say thank you.” By the time they have fumbled through their bum bag looking for a coin, the dog has already said, “Thank you. Woof, woof.” And by the time they have pulled out their camera, it’s already started again: “Hello, my name is Islay…”