Great Lakes’ very own graffiti buster Ted Bickford has been invited once again to head up the NSW Graffiti Removal Day, on Sunday, October 29.
The aim of Graffiti Removal Day is to highlight the problem of graffiti across the State and encourage people to volunteer to remove and prevent graffiti.
“They wanted to promote the day with me going around and cleaning up Forster-Tuncurry,” Ted said.
“But that was a bit of a problem due to the special circumstances here; there is no graffiti to clean.
“Even though there is no graffiti in town, spreading awareness and supporting the Graffiti Removal Day is still very important to the community.
Every time a new building goes up, I go straight to the store and buy four cans of the paint that are the right colour for it.Ted Bickford
“I already have 20 kids who have volunteered to help out on the day, so I have had to come up with another plan.
“We are going to go around to all of the war memorials in the area, and clean them up, that should keep the kids busy enough.
“So far we are planning to clean up the Lone Pine Memorial, as well as the one in the Forster War Memorial, and the one at Club Forster.
“It’s great that we have no graffiti in town, but there is always more that can be done.”
The town’s current graffiti-free existence is no accident, but the product of Ted’s rigorous efforts to ensure a zero tolerance of graffiti outlook in the area.
“I know all the kids down at the skate park, they protect their park well. If anyone comes along and decides to graffiti anything, they just call me right up, and I get down there and clean it away,” Ted said.
“They soon realise that there’s no point doing it, because I will get there and get rid of it before anyone can even see it.”
Ted started out his campaign to rid the Great Lakes of graffiti when he rode around town on his bike of a morning, stopping wherever he saw a scrap of unruly scribble to clean it up.
Since the early days, Ted’s mission has grown considerably, with help from the former Great Lakes Council and an army of secondary school student volunteers.
If you have lived here a while, you will probably have seen Ted rattling around town in his a brightly colored truck, keeping a keen eye out for any mischief-makers messing up his clean surfaces.
No level of commitment is too much for Ted, who personally ensures the protection of every individual building.
“Every time a new building goes up, I go straight to the store and buy four cans of the paint that are the right colour for it.”
But Ted can’t do it alone.
“I welcome anyone who wants to join in and help out on the day.”
If you are interested in volunteering some time on the day to help Ted fight in the war on graffiti, sign up here: https://graffitiremovalday.org.au/.