Born and Bred

by John
(Darwin River)

My parents came to Darwin in 1949 and I was born in the old Darwin Hospital in 1950. At that time my parents lived in a Sidney Williams hut at Larakeyah. My earliest memory is of their next address, which was on the corner of the Stuart H/way and Charles St, Stuart Park. This house survived Tracey and was demolished in the last few years.


On the other side of Charles St, was a commercial laundry which seemed to go 24 hours a day. Thrifty Rent a Car is now there.

We had a 'flaming fury' for a toilet and it got it's name from having to burn the waste with kerosene and newspapers each week. I remember a neighbour coming over and measuring the distance from our house because he was planning to upgrade to a flaming fury.

At the beginning of each wet season when the mozzies came in droves, we looked forward to relief provided by the 'Fog Machine'. An old Landrover stained with oil and spilled chemicals would come around the streets pumping clouds of insecticide into the air. We would hear it coming long before it arrived.

I started school at Frog's Hollow and as the family moved to Fannie Bay in 1956, I was in the first intake at Parap Primary in 1958. My secondary school education was at Darwin High.

We occupied our free time, riding bikes out to Fannie Bay Rocks, East Point or Racecourse Creek to go fishing. When we were a bit older we went further afield, sometimes to Howard Swamps to do a bit of hunting. It was hard coming home with a shotgun and geese hanging from the handlebars.

There was no airconditioned cinema. Just the open air Star Theatre and the Parap Theatre which could only operate after dark. The old Town Hall did have Saturday afternoon matinees for a while.

It was primative by todays standards but I loved every minute of it. A group of us from Parap Primary School get together every so often to chew the fat and keep our memories of this special town alive.



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Search for father
by: Anonymous

Hello
My name is Juanita
I am trying to find any information regarding my father Trevor Mitchell who was the draftsman for Micheal Paspalid when Hotel Darwin was built in 1958. Any info would be greatly appreciated ๐Ÿ˜Š

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THANK YOU
by: debbie

Hi John Thank you very kindly for that. I have contacted the northern territory library for assistance as I seem to be finding it difficult to find answers to the other questions but I really appreciate your help ! Please take care Debbie

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Drive In
by: John - Fly Creek

Debbie I got this info from Wikipedia 'Darwin was home to the Paspalis (Nightcliff) Drive-in theatre which was the largest privately owned drive-in located in Australia, which was opened in 1965 and closed in 1985.'

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THANK YOU
by: Debbie

Hi John,
THANK YOU very kindly for that I really appreciate your help and will check for updates !
Kind Regards
Debbie

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How Much to go to the Star Theatre
by: John - Fly Creek

Debbie if you asked how much a cream bun cost in 1960 I'd confidently say 6 pence. I used to buy 4 with my 2 shillings lunch money at the school tuck shop. Pies were 1 shilling.
The costs that you asked about I can't remember but I'll post your letter on to 'Old Darwin', a Facebook page where old timers discuss all kinds of issues from days gone by. Keep watch for updates.

John

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Wondering if you know
by: Debbie

Hi John,
I was wondering if you knew how much a ticket to the movies at the star theatre cost in 1960? What date the Parap theatre opened and What year the Drive in theatre opened please ? A dear friend of mine lived in Darwin for 30 years and is not very good with computers so that is why I am doing this for her . She is writing about her experiences from 1954. Another question she had which may be a little hard for you was the cost of a 6-12 pack of nappies in 1960 and I do not expect you to be able to answer that one. If you do not or cannot answer these questions could you please give me the contact details of someone who could. ?
Kind Regards
debbie

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Reply to Wondering
by: John. Darwin River

Hi Susan
I am the the family elder and unfortunately I can't recall ever coming across Joan Tearle All the best in your search.

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wondering
by: susan

Dear John

Wondering if you or older members of your family may remember a lady called Joan Tearle, she was a typist who lived at 25 Charles Street in the late 1950s through to at least 1963. Any information would be much appreciated.

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Great contribution
by: Jim

You paint a picture that is very different from our air-conditioned world of jet planes and mobile phones. Darwin must have seemed a long way from everywhere too.

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