Corrimal Catholic Ball Debutantes 1946

Debutantes presented, at the annual ball on August 30th at Wollongong Soldiers’ Hall. Standing, from left to right – Misses June Richardson, Helen Nash, Joan Deegan, Daphne Faulkiner, Jil Sloan, Kathleen Brooks, Dorothy Druery, Elaine Smith, Nola Dawson, Seated – Miss Shirley McDonald, Mrs. N. Kerr (Matron of Honour), Miss Shirley Bartley. Absent – Miss…

Life was more than a pipe dream

This fantastic historic image is from a newspaper clipping taken from a scrap book that was given to me many years ago by an old Woonona identity. It is undated, but I would guess it was snapped early last century. The caption reads: “AN early camera man, with an eye for the unusual, used these…

Austinmer Beach 1925

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Bulli Woonona Sports Club

Police raids, seized pokies and SP bookie arrests By MICK ROBERTS © UNREGISTERED sporting clubs were scattered throughout the Illawarra last century; places where working class men gathered to socialise over a game of billiards or snooker, table games such as cards and dice, and to have a flutter on the pokies. The clubs, although…

Corrimal’s bodgies and widgies

By MICK ROBERTS © The bodgies certainly brought a little colour and flare into places like Corrimal during the early 1950s. The Corrimal milk bars were the place for young people to be seen in the 1950s. To be one of the ‘cool’ crowd it was a must for the women to be a ‘widgie’ and…

Bulli Park’s Canary Island Palms

THE Canary Island Palms (Phoenix canariensis), such a feature of the Park Road side of Bulli Park, have majestically lined its border for almost a century. Despite the harsh salt laden windy environment, and often, during their younger years, becoming a meal for horses and dairy cattle, most of the original plantings have surprisingly survived.…

Lonely surfies

Australian Women’s Weekly 1964 Letters Page A sandy’s lot. “WHERE are all the sandies?” the boys are asking. My boyfriend describes a sandy as a brown-skinned, brown-haired girl who carries her boyfriend’s surfboard to and from the beach for him and then sits on the beach in a bikini, watching him catch the heavies. Occasionally…

The Blue Hole Surf Club

By MICK ROBERTS © SECRETLY perched overlooking the ocean in the Royal National Park are around 200 historic shacks forgotten in time. Built between 1910 and 1950, before the area was included into the Royal National Park, the shacks evolved on land leased from freeholders. Material for the jerry built shacks and, the owners’ provisions, were,…

The Royal Theatre, Bulli

ON the corner of Hopetoun Street and the Princes Highway, where Bulli meets Woonona, is a large building that currently trades as a gymnasium exclusively for women. The building originally opened as the Royal Theatre in 1924. The silent film, lilies of the field, was screened to a selected audience when the theatre opened in…

Rise & fall of Billiard saloons

By MICK ROBERTS © RELIGIOUSLY every Saturday a steady stream of men crossed backwards and forwards from the bar of the Bulli Family Hotel to the billiard saloon opposite. They were not playing billiards, or even having a haircut or buying tobacco, the men were making their way to a tin shed at the back of…

Riley’s wine saloon

By MICK ROBERTS © AFTER last drinks were called at Thirroul’s Ryans Hotel, in the days of the “Six O’clock Swill”, swards of men would trudge down the road to Riley’s wine saloon. The wine bar, on the corner of The Esplanade and Lawrence Hargrave Drive, hit its peak in popularity during the 1920s and…