Local hero saves neighbourhood from isolation dark cloud
HE IS the local hero out to save community spirit from the gloom of the COVID-19 lockdown and has become local icon almost over night.
Cleveland resident Lima Laulau spends time each day walking his dog Bear along the streets of the Redlands - a simple task for many - but he does it dressed as a superhero.
The warm-hearted mental health carer uses his daily stroll to bring a smile to the faces of those he passes.
He gets double-takes, people asking for selfies and even drivers doing U-turns to see him again.
The attention has caused Mr Laulau to become a Facebook sensation with residents sharing photos of him as they spot him.
His Facebook group Who's Walking the Dog? has accrued 1800 members in three days.
His wife Tracy said he thrived on brightening people's day.
"(Last) Wednesday morning my husband woke up and said 'I'm going to go walk the dog in my Stormtrooper costumer and give people a laugh'," she said.
"He loved it, he came back absolutely stoked."
As well as amassing a growing base of fans Mr Laulau has also sparked a superhero movement, inspiring others to follow his (dog) lead and hit the pavement in character.
"I'm one of those people who try and help when you can... the more people we can get out there doing this stuff (the better)... that's just great."
But Mr Laulau said he was not superhero the community should be thanking.
"I'm just walking my dog... (the people on the front line) they're the superheroes that we need to thank."
So far Mr Laulau has dressed as Spiderman, Darth Vader, a Stormtrooper and Black Panther and with the help of local costumer suppliers Shakespeare's Wardrobe, has long list of characters yet to bring to life.
"I feel sorry for my greyhound; he doesn't know who his owner is," Mr Laulau joked.
As for what character her husband would become tomorrow, Mrs Laulau hinted "the kids will love it".
Originally published as Local hero saves neighbourhood from isolation dark cloud