History may be divided as to whether Captain John Fane Charles Hamilton was a hero or a villain, but the present-day incarnation of our city’s namesake seems to be more popular amongst Hamiltonians than his previous (and living) reputation has ever been.
The second of our contenders for the title of ‘Friendliest Man in Hamilton‘, this bronzed specimen of manliness maintains constant vigil over Civic Square (and also watches over Garden Place out of the corner of one eye).
All day long, he is pinched, pulled, prodded and be-hatted to within an inch of his life. It is not unusual to wander past and see locals dressing him up in Mooloo colours, or children attempting to climb onto his shoulders and ride piggyback. We once spent a sunny afternoon sitting at Civic Square and watched throngs of passersby take a detour to the Captain -some to read his plaque, some to touch his steely face (to get a definitive answer as to whether he is real or not), and many more, just to pose for a photo.
Not only is he weirdly approachable in person, but Captain Hamiltron -as we’ve come to fondly call him -has become a bit of a big deal on the internet in the four months or so since he was gifted to the city by the Gallagher family. His photos are regularly posted on #lovethetron by Hamiltonian tweeters, he has even started his own account @CptHamilton2013 and is apparently running for Mayor in this year’s local government elections.
He might be pint-sized and immobile, but this city certainly seems to have a whole lot of love for Captain Hamiltron.
THE MANY FACES OF CAPTAIN HAMILTON
Patriotic to the core: @webtaniwha finds Captain Hamiltron getting his #ChiefsMana on for Chiefs v Crusaders.
The locals love him: @wugga happily gives the old Captain lovemarks with a little nighttime light painting.
Heeh @joshuawolver snaps Captain Hamiltron heading to the Hamilton City Council costume party dressed as his favourite movie: Coneheads.
Captain Hamiltron shows his cultured side on Bastille Day by donning @chamfy’s red beret and introducing himself to passersby as ‘Jean Hamiltron’ in a French accent.
Capping ceremony: It’s a momentous occasion for all concerned, as Captain Hamiltron is officially inducted into the O’Brien clan by @DarkroomJesse.
Swoon. @BookieMonsterNZ snaps Captain Hamiltron looking particularly dashing as he takes a turn about Civic Square on a winter’s morning.
@chamfy snaps Captain Hamiltron donning a hard hat and high-viz vest to get stuck into all the construction happening around the city. Wonder how well he can operate the cranes over the CBD?
The Captain takes a bubble bath: We’d rather he did it somewhere a little more private, but at least we know he stands for good (and enjoyable) hygiene practices!
Good Cause #1: He’s the oldest man standing upright in Hamilton (we hope), so it’s only natural that Captain Hamiltron would show his support for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This from @Ithu.
Good cause #2: The reformed Captain Hamiltron is all about saving lives and giving blood. And he thinks you should be too.
Good cause #3: The Captain stands in solidarity with ANZAC brothers he never got to know. This from @HamNZ_Libraries.
Awkward turtle. @nbwjohnston spots Captain Hamiltron third-wheeling on this young couple’s date.
Despite his busy social schedule, the Captain always has time for his fabulous friends. He is pictured here, high rollin’ with Seven Sharp’s @JesseMulligan (and potential celebrity doppelganger?)
Nawwww. A kind stranger lends the Captain a hat and scarf to keep warm through the freezing Waikato winter.