It was, possibly, the stupidest name ever.
But, apparently, the public had voted for a Sydney ferry to be called Ferry McFerryFace.
Now it turns out that the the name Ferry McFerryface didn’t even come up in the top six of the options available in the Name Your Ferry competition held in 2016. More on that disaster below.
But the good news is that the ferry will now be named after the late children’s author and illustrator May Gibbs, with the NSW Department of Transport and Infrastructure releasing a statement on Tuesday saying it would be the “final name”.
“After a summer on the harbour, Ferry McFerryface will now be renamed after prominent Australian author May Gibbs,” the statement said.
It’s a fitting name in 2018, with this year also marking the 100th anniversary of the first release of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.
Gibbs, who died in Sydney in 1969 at the age of 92, was best known for her Gumnut babies work, and as one of Australia’s first professional female cartoonists. She donated the copyright of some of her work to Northcott Disability Services, while the residue of her estate was left to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund.
“We always intended this vessel would be named for the kids,” Mr Constance said.
The ferry naming competition received thousands of suggestions when it was first opened in July 2016, according to the ABC. The NSW government announced in November that Ferry McFerryface had won the public vote, which cost taxpayers $100,000.
But a freedom of information request by Channel Nine has revealed that actually Australians voted for the ferry to be named after Ian Kiernan, the founder of Clean Up Australia. His name received more than 2000 votes, compared to Ferry McFerryface, which received just 182 votes.
Instead, it was NSW transport minister Andrew Constance who picked Ferry McFerryface. He claimed at the time Boaty McBoatface had won the vote but, “Given Boaty was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next popular name nominated by Sydneysiders.”
Sydneysiders weren’t happy with the result.
In a statement released this week, Constance said the branding was only ever temporary, and that the name Ferry McFerryFace did receive more nominations that Ian Kiernan in the first open call for public nominations, where the public could vote on any name they chose.
We’re confused too. And hope Ian Kiernan does eventually get his name honoured.
But we’re happy to see May Gibbs’ name will be greeting commuters and tourists travelling across Sydney Harbour.