Del Jensen recalls birth of Mary Heritage at Expo 88
IN THE 1980's Del Jensen helped put Maryborough on the map with thanks to her alter-ego Mary Heritage.
Ms Jensen is the original Mary Heritage which she started at World Expo 88 for 18 months.
The character was only supposed to live for World Expo 88, but the heritage city quickly fell in love with their newest mascot.
Ms Jensen recalls the first time she stepped out into the heat of Brisbane as Mary Heritage, and how popular she became.
"It was exciting, it was extremely frightening and very traumatic," she said.
"The whole thing of Mary Heritage ran out of control - she instantly became popular and nobody knew which direction for her to travel."
The overwhelming popularity of the character took its toll on Ms Jensen, who sought support in her close friends Sid Collins and John Craig Gardiner.
With no financial backing from the Maryborough Council, Ms Jensen attempted to quit, which would have killed the character.
"Hairspray was costing my family a fortune but Maryborough would not let me quit," she said.
The town's residents and businesses called for her to stay with a Chronicle headline reading; "please don't quit, Mary."
She accepted $100 a week from the council as well as support from local businesses.
Ms Jensen said Mary Heritage was an eye catching and elegant character.
"You don't play her, you become her," she said.
"I was extremely shy but once I put the gowns on my shyness dissipated.
"I'm very proud of the fact I started her. She got Maryborough on the map."
Since 1988 only three people have become Mary Heritage.
Born in 1988 for Brisbane's World Expo
Was Maryborough's representative
Only three people have become Mary Heritage