New Farm Park, Brisbane

Thursday, July 23, 2015

ON LEAVE DOWN SOUTH 1969

(It is many months since I added to "My Story" and I must get on with it so I can publish it for my children before I 'pop my clogs'. If you are interested in reading any previous posts just click on the label "My Story")

Bill and I were married in May 1969 in Papua New Guinea where we had been working for some time. In December it was time for us to go "on leave down south", which is the term we used when we were going on holidays back home in Australia. In those days "home" for me was Sydney.

Bill and I had decided to work for another year in PNG after we were married and in May 1970 we would go to Switzerland. We weren't sure if we would stay in Switzerland or return to Australia. Bill's company had said there would be a job for him in Brisbane if he wanted to return to Australia.

We had saved a bit of money since we were married and I suggested that we should buy a block of land in Brisbane so if we decided to return Bill would have a job and we would have somewhere to build a house. If we stayed in Switzerland we could use it as an investment. Bill was surprised at my suggestion because he never dreamt it would be possible for us to own our own land and house. This is because in Switzerland it was impossible unless you were very rich or unless you inherited land. or a house.

So, in December 69, when we went on leave we flew to Brisbane first before heading home to Sydney. We stayed in the Sunnybank Hotel because Bill had a work colleague, Fred, who was on leave also and he was living close by. Fred had a friend, who lent us a car while we were in Brisbane. We were dumbfounded with this generosity from someone we didn't even know. Later we were to discover that this is the nature of Queenslanders, they are friendly, helpful and generous people.

We put the little car into use by driving all over Brisbane visiting estate agents and looking at land for sale.
After viewing many houses for sale and blocks of land we finally decided on an acre block in the new suburb of Springwood about 20k south of the CBD. It was on Springwood Rd.

This is Springwood Road today taken from the same spot. It is now 4 lanes wide. There are traffic lights, a high school and wall to wall houses.

 It was just native bushland but I thought it was beautiful and close to the city and close to the Gold Coast in a new and developing suburb and we weren't intending to live there for a while or maybe never if we stayed in Switzerland. This is me looking down the block it sloped towards a creek.

Same place today slightly different angle.

Our acre of land in 1969  and what it looks like today. (We don't own it any more. Incidentally we paid $2,700 for the land which is now worth hundreds of thousands because it can be subdivided. We sold too early.)

After we finalized the buying of the land we spent a few days sight seeing before flying onto Sydney.
 Queen St Brisbane at Christmas time 1969

 The City Hall was the tallest building, today it is dwarfed by towers. The first tower was being built then. It was the State Govt Insurance Building behind the beautiful church, which luckily has been heritage listed. It is the Albert St Uniting Church formerly the Methodist Church, built in 1888.

The city was like a big country town, much smaller than Sydney but I found the people friendly and thought it would be an okay place to live. Little did I know how much I would come to love Brisbane and become a proud Queenslander.




After looking around the city, we visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.There were dingoes, emus, kangaroos and other native wildlife. Unfortunately the koalas are dying out due to humans taking away their habitat to build on. Cats and dogs are killing them as well as cars.

26 comments:

  1. More terrific historical photos. As for selling the land too early, always leave some profit for the next person. There is never right time to sell.

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  2. Well, that brings back memories. You may mention that we still live only about 1-2 km from that first house. Also while we lived there, our address was changed three times. First it was in Eight Mile Plains, then in Slacks Creek and finally ended up in Springwood. And the house never moved. How about that!

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  3. Such a nice story to read. You were very clever to suggest to buy some land. I can imagine the reaction of Bill, in our country we are not used to do so either. Nice to see the then and now photo's of the area.

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  4. Funny to look at those old photos of the big town as it was called back then.
    Such a change now in those suburbs when they were first opened for residences.
    Such a pity about the koalas - however one of the predators is going to be
    culled - feral cats.
    Cheers
    Colin

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  5. Your photos of Springwood show the striking differences brought by time. Wow. No doubt I would be amazed by the changes since I lived there in the late 1980's too.

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  6. Hello Diane, wonderful memories of you and your hubby's early days. Buying the land was a great idea. It is amazing to see all the changes in the area. I do feel sad to hear about the koalas loosing their habitat. Great post and images. Have a happy day!

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  7. Diane, amzing story which shows how Australia has changed and developed....

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  8. I always love reading your "My story". I was just about to ask how far you live from there now, when Bill answered my question. Great photos of then and now.

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  9. Lovely part of your life. The excitement of buying land, then much later selling it. Nice to see the comparisons. Great to have the photos to do so...

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  10. Great to have the before and after photos, so very different! We always sell at the wrong time, or worse still move countries at the wrong time. Exchange rates are always at their worst when we move countries!! Wish I had a child to hand my life story on to, meanwhile I hope that some others are enjoying the blog despite it being a bit slow! Have a good day t'other Diane

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  11. Oh it is a beautiful spot be it a bit too busy for my taste as far as living now that it has the four lanes of traffic. Too bad about selling early but life is full of "what if's":) Love that your finishing your book for your kids. Someday I have to get at that. HUGS B

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  12. I really like the back then and now photos... we often talk about how much our streets and views have changed in 26 years in this house.. love the little koalas... to bad you sold to early...

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  13. Funny thing, I was just thinking about your book last night - no idea why so I am thrilled to get to read another chapter. The before and after pictures are super fun to see!

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  14. That's a really interesting post and fascinating pictures - even to someone that doesn't know the area. Interesting to see the old cars (though they look older than the 60s to me) and the Woolworths sign - a long-since vanished sight from the High Street over here. You write well - a good read!

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    1. Brisbane was behind the times then, some say it still is.

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  15. How enterprising of you to buy some land. Can't wait to hear what happens in Switzerland.

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  16. Very different landscapes, the Koalas are my favourites.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  17. I did enjoy that post, Di. Brought back so many memories for me. You obviously had more sense than I did when my brother bought a block of land in the same area. I said he was mad buying out there with the bush and snakes! Around the same time we bought a block of land on Bribie (while living in Mt Isa). We sold too early, too. :)
    I look forward to the next episode!

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  18. You were a clever young woman ! A very good idea to buy a block as investment ! How much the area has changed ! These awful big buildings hiding all the old treasures were so in fashion in the 60/70 ! In Brussels they demolished all beautiful old mansions and built glass boxes instead ! A shame !

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  19. The before and afters are great. And each episode of my story a great read.

    We sold out of Sydney some years ago and prices there are exploding. I never look back when I sell because there is always a reason for doing so and when that is taken into the maths perhaps it was still a good decision.

    Buying computers is the same thing in reverse. Never look at the price of what you bought yesterday. It is bound to be cheaper today.

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  20. what an interesting post Diane. great to see the old photos against the new. your book will be a lovely keepsake for the family.

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  21. I've been waiting for the next installment as I really enjoy your story. Such contrasts in the old and the new, and it's the same all over the world. I think it is one of the great joys of "getting old", the ability to see the present and remember what used to be.

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  22. I went searching for the rest of your story without success. Now I know why - it's still being written! Looking forward to the next installment so please don't "pop your clogs"yet.

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  23. Hi Diane, this is so interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed it along with your photos. I have never heard the term "popping your clogs" and did I chuckle. I think I have added a new phrase to my vocabulary.

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  24. Another interesting and information-fill post, Diane, especially the before and after photos which showed such amazing, but not unexpected changes.

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  25. I love seeing the then and now photos. For sure the area has changed since way back when! Sad about the koalas!

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