Blast from city's past

THE RSL's call for former beach sirens and railway picnickers has received an overwhelming response from members of the Bundaberg community.

In December last year, the NewsMail introduced readers to the RSL's sub-branch Railway Picnic fundraising reunion and memorabilia exhibition, which aimed to raise funds for the furnishing of a new veterans' facility currently under construction.

Bundaberg RSL sub-branch president Paul Tramacchi said all feedback he had received so far was positive and encouraging.

"We have had a great response in the short time since the initial story and have spoken to hundreds of interested people - each with a story to tell," Mr Tramacchi said.

"Everyone wants to contribute to the event, and any information from the community will ensure the event's success."

Mr Tramacchi said the 12-member committee assembled for the fundraiser included local council members, RSL representatives, former railway members, Sirens and lifesavers, and other "well-know citizens who well represent the community".

He also said he had already made contact with about 15 past Sirens who either received a first, second or third placing.

"Our aim is to find details from as many siren placegetters as possible," he said.

The reunion will be held at the Bundaberg Civic Centre on November 17 this year, where attendees will travel back to the 50s, 60s and 70s to view footage and images from the Railway Picnic's festivities, including the popular Siren of the Surf competition.

Undoubtedly the picnic's main attraction, young women from all walks of life from as far as Rockhampton would partake in the marching competition.

The first official Sirens of the Surf pageant was held in 1946.

The event was held annually at Nielson Park Beach until the last picnic in 1972.

Past sirens and attendees of the popular picnic are urged to contact the RSL sub-branch to contribute footage and images to the fundraising event on 41326512 or au.

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