OGDEN — It’s not every day a giant kangaroo statue is the key figure at an official Ogden City press conference.
But evidently, Monday was that day, as Mayor Mike Caldwell and a handful of other city officials formally welcomed “Skippy the Kangaroo” to Junction City.
The six-foot kangaroo statue was a gift from KordUSA, a subsidiary of the Australia-based KordTech, which opened new office and lab facilities earlier this year at the Boyer Business Depot Ogden.
The company develops technology that allows people to “quickly and safely control multiple electronic devices while on the move and without having to take their eyes or hands off task.” According to a city press release, Kord’s technology has application in the defense and law enforcement sectors. The company’s Ogden location includes office and production test facilities with engineering staff responsible for production planning, quality control, assembly, and testing.
Dr. Peter Moran, managing director of Kord, said the statue was given in appreciation of the support and collaborative spirit Ogden City showed his tech company as they established new offices here.
Moran said around the time the company decided to locate their U.S. subsidiary in Ogden, he was struck by the city’s “Trail to Pioneer Days” horse project. The public art project features more than 60 life-size fiberglass horses, designed and painted by the area artists. The horses are prominently displayed along Historic 25th Street, the Junction and Washington Boulevard. They lead to Ogden Pioneer Stadium.
“It was summer and I recall distinctly it was during Pioneer Days,” Moran said. “I remember ... seeing the horses on the corner and thinking, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic. They’re quite clearly a symbol of Ogden’s culture and heritage.” So I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be great as an Australian company to be able to bring some of our heritage and culture to Ogden.”
So naturally, the statue will be included in future displays of the Pioneer Day Horses trail.
“Skippy is going to be a great ambassador of Australia,” Caldwell said.