Were You in Darwin When?
Were you a student at Darwin Primary School at Frog's Hollow in 1956 or 57 when the steam engine was placed in the playground to play on? Do you remember Quong's Bakery and the DX Bakery? How about the remains of the Vesty's Meat Works? Did you ever watch a western at the Star Theatre on a Wednesday night? Ever try the fish and chips bought through a small window in the Vic Hotel courtyard? Do you remember seeing the wreck of the Neptuna on low tide on it's side near Stokes Hill wharf? Who saw the chimp from the Tarzan films do back flips on the deck of the yacht Sea Fox?
Dairy Queen arrived and changed the eating habits of a generation. Two shops, a small one in Smith Street and a milk bar at Parap. What a treat, chocolate coated soft serve ice cream. Also at Parap were Terry's Buther Shop and a great fish and chip shop. Some of the other shops in Darwin were W.G. Chin & Sons, Tang's, Sue Wah Chin, Chans, Lilian Dean Photos, Ah Toy's, Martin's Newsagency, Jolly's, Charlie Onn's, Gees Supermarket, Cashman's, Izod Motors, Johnson Motors and Fannie Bay Car Sales.
They were the days when the NT News was delivered by paper boy. 8 pence for a paper; 6 pence for the NT News and tuppence and any tips for the paper boy. Each year the NT News sent all their regular paper boys a Christmas bonus. A crisp new 10 shilling note.
Cyclone Tracy blew the old Darwin away. The new one is bigger, brighter and modern. But is it better? Change is inevitable and a lot of the change is for the better. After 60 years in Darwin it is nice to sit back and remember earlier days when life was lived at a slower pace.