Deborah Large marries Peter Williams on September 17, 1977 at Buss Park, with her parents Merle and Stanley Large. The Anglican church in back ground. Submitted by Jenny Large.
Deborah Large marries Peter Williams on September 17, 1977 at Buss Park, with her parents Merle and Stanley Large. The Anglican church in back ground. Submitted by Jenny Large.

Remembering life in Bundaberg in the 1970s

BUNDABERG readers have taken a trip down memory lane to talk about the 1970s and what it was that made it great.

For many, the simpler lifestyle was a big plus.

Gordon Lyford said for him, the era was better for employment.

"In the '70s everybody could get a permanent job, housing was more affordable in real terms, global warming was not an issue," he said.

"The global population then meant there was less stress on ecosystems and bio-diversity. Crime,especially drug-related crime, was much lower."

Bundaberg cyclist Stephen Goodall on the Gold Coast in the 1970s, with Surfers Paradise in the background.
Bundaberg cyclist Stephen Goodall on the Gold Coast in the 1970s, with Surfers Paradise in the background. Contributed

Mr Lyford said he believed music was also better back then.

"For my generation, the 70s had the best music," he said.

My Dad remembers the 1940s fondly when he was a teenager so perhaps we mostly hark back to times we were young," he said.

ACTION: A scene from the Australian movie The Mango Tree filmed here in Bundaberg in the 1970s. Photo: contributed
ACTION: A scene from the Australian movie The Mango Tree filmed here in Bundaberg in the 1970s. Photo: contributed contributed

"Will these current times be 'the best years' for today's young when they are old enough to reflect? I wonder."

Glenda Gold agreed that better employment opportunities are something we're missing now.

"In the '70s you could walk out of one job and straight into another," she said.

Massey-Ferguson manager Reg Shaw, Bundaberg Mayor Cliff Nielsen, unknown worker and BLM manager Perc Bamsey at the Massey-Ferguson plant, early 1970s. Submitted by Julie Myer.
Massey-Ferguson manager Reg Shaw, Bundaberg Mayor Cliff Nielsen, unknown worker and BLM manager Perc Bamsey at the Massey-Ferguson plant, early 1970s. Submitted by Julie Myer.

"Everyone was treated as equal no matter what job you held, very few people on the dole, social service office was in the little brick building between the gallery and the court house, and we could pay rent elect."

"Food, fuel and go out west for a few days and still have money to spare."

"Hubby was on a wage of about $39 a week and our life was easy and simple - no iPads, mobile phones or expensive toys. We loved it!"

Massey-Ferguson staff and Mayor of Bundaberg Cliff Nielsen (fourth from left), early 1970s. Submitted by Julie Myers.
Massey-Ferguson staff and Mayor of Bundaberg Cliff Nielsen (fourth from left), early 1970s. Submitted by Julie Myers.

Ken Wilson said the lack of technology made it a better time.

"Remember the '70s when you would go out with people and no one spent all night on Facebook on their phone," he said.

"We actually talked and not shared posts."

First Holy Communion at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church, circa 1970s. Submitted by the Good Shepherd Anglican Parish of West Bundaberg.
First Holy Communion at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church, circa 1970s. Submitted by the Good Shepherd Anglican Parish of West Bundaberg.

Adrienne Symons agreed.

"Our friends were real and usually lived in the same street and we played games outside and went out and had fantastic fun," she said.

"kids now have friends on Facebook they have never met and don't even know the other kids in the street."

Vicki Elizabeth Avcin said she missed the 1970s because people respected the law and obesity wasn't such a big problem.

The Playhouse Theatre's 1976 production of The Bastard Country, which opened the new auditorium. L-R: Graeme Osborne, John Stoutley, Clive Toohey, Peg Birks, Julie Richter, Geoff Colledge. Photo submitted by The Playhouse Theatre.
The Playhouse Theatre's 1976 production of The Bastard Country, which opened the new auditorium. L-R: Graeme Osborne, John Stoutley, Clive Toohey, Peg Birks, Julie Richter, Geoff Colledge. Photo submitted by The Playhouse Theatre.

"I love the '60s and '70s," she said.

"Sure wish a lot of things were like it now.

"Court system handed out real punishments too. Things were way cheaper then too."

The 1974 Fashion Fantasia Designer of the year Cynthia Hoogstraten. Photo submitted by Cynthia Hoogstraten.
The 1974 Fashion Fantasia Designer of the year Cynthia Hoogstraten. Photo submitted by Cynthia Hoogstraten.

Some of the negatives readers shared from the era included cars breaking down easily, lack of air conditioning, ignorance towards domestic violence and Aboriginal matters and Vietnam War conscription.

In the news

  • 1970 - watermelon wrecks window

Vandals threw a watermelon through one of the post office windows, leaving broken pieces of melon and shattered glass scattered over the floor of the public office section.

  • 1971 - Cafe closes doors after 42 years

Hundreds called in for one last time as the Lewis Bros Cafe finally closed down on June 30.

The manager, Mrs O'Gee, had been with the cafe for 42 years.

Cook and shop assistant John La Spina went on an around the world trip after working at the business for 16 years.

  • 1972 - Bundy's first lady officer

Bundaberg welcomed its first female police officer in October.

Mary Waugh, from the Burnett district, was engaged in general duties, radio work and police escorts.

  • 1973 - We paid $99.78 for rates

Bundaberg had the lowest rates in Queensland - almost half that of Mt Isa.

Bundaberg's rates were just $99.78, while Mt Isa people were paying $179.73.

  • 1974 - Kangaroo rescued

A kangaroo was saved by a trawler crew after it was found making its way down the Burnett River.

The grateful roo made no attempt to resist rescue and was easily pulled on board.

It's believed the kangaroo was probably chased into the river by dogs.

  • 1975 - Men don't wear ties, coats

Mr Justice Kelly made some observations about male dress at the sittings of Circuit Court in Bundaberg on July 22.

His honour referred to the fact that some men summoned for jury service were not wearing coats, and a number of them had turned up without ties.

  • 1976 - Gladys Moncrieff passes away

Australia's queen of song, Gladys Moncrieff died in Pindara Private Hospital at Southport after a long illness.

She would have turned 84 in April.

The opening of Sugarland Shoppingtown, May 22, 1978. Submitted by Sugarland Shoppingtown
The opening of Sugarland Shoppingtown, May 22, 1978. Submitted by Sugarland Shoppingtown
  • 1977 - Sugarland plan announced

On April 27, plans were announced for a new multi-million dollar shopping complex in west Bundaberg that would be known as Sugarland Shoppingtown.

Understood to be the biggest Big W complex proposed for regional Queensland, the number of jobs created by Woolworths and Big W would total 250.

  • 1978 - Man holds protest in shop

A Bundaberg shopkeeper ended a 24-hour protest over the plight of small business when he walked out of his barricaded shop just after 6pm on October 25.

The proprieter of Horans' Seafoods in Sugarland Shoppingtown, locked himself in after closing time on October 24.

He had plastered the shop with signs protesting excessive rents.

  • 1979 - Bikers protest ban

The Bundaberg branch of the Australian Motorcycle Liberationists staged a mass protest against the State Government's ban on custom motorcycles.

More than 100 bikers decided to meet in Childers before riding in convoy to a public rally in Bundaberg.

The '70s in Bundy

WE LOVED

  • It was safer
  • Cars looked better
  • Less obsession with technology
  • Work was easier to get
  • Less processed food
  • No obesity epidemic
  • More respect for the law
  • No fear of terrorism
  • People made their own fun
  • The music


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