Elephant's name is Khushi little number

A name has now been chosen for Cannock's new elephant statue.

A name has now been chosen for Cannock's new elephant statue.

The town's elephant will be called Khushi – a Hindu name meaning "happy". The granite statue at the junction of Church Street and Avon Road was unveiled last December.

Khushi replaces the town's old elephant statue, which was destroyed by vandals in February 2007. Donated by the then WH Smith Do-it-All, the elephant had stood in the town centre since 1989. The much-loved landmark was named Canumbo – a mixture of Cannock and Jumbo.

However, it was also known locally as Nocky.

Last year public arts group Chase Arts for Public Spaces (CHAPS) launched a competition to find a name for the new statue, asking for entries from across the district.

Cannock Chase MP Tony Wright said: "We thought hard about the new name and had some fun choosing it too.

"There were a number of suggestions associated with the nearby Woolworths store which had just closed."

Mr Wright said CHAPS decided to plump for a name that looked forward and sounded upbeat.

"We liked Chaser because of its association with the area, and Chappy too appealed," he said.

"In the end though, we went for Khushi because it sounded so cheerful and optimistic."

The winning name was chosen by Jessika Williams, aged four, and her one-year-old brother Benjamin.

Arrangements are now being made to unveil a plaque adjacent to Khushi to recognise local contributions towards the project.

The unveiling is due to take place on February 20 at 11am.

The elephant replacement was financed by partners including Chase Academy, Cannock Shopping Centre and Chase Young Chamber of Commerce.

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