Friday, 31 January 2014

Zylstra family home movie

I had to share this movie with you!

The footage was taken around Wollongong and it's a fantastic snap shot of life for the many migrant families that came to the Illawarra in the 1950s. Just great.

John Zylstra posted this film - he is the little boy eating cake :) The video was shot by Rudolf Zylstra. Please read John's description below and enjoy.

'My parents migrated from Holland in 1953. The first few years we lived in a tent in Stuart Park Wollongong. "Those day's were my Parents Best Days" Although times were tough. One of my Fathers first jobs was catching RATS for Metal Manufactures in Port Kembla. However even though he was a qualified Radio And TV Technician, I can't ever recall the Old Boy complaining but then again he saw most of the world as a Dutch Marine and wanted to settle in Australia and call this home. He wanted part of the lucky country. He was a good Father. Bye the way I'm the little Hog eating the cake' (John Zylstra).

Monday, 20 January 2014

Oak Flats Public School

Schools in .... well, nearly. Celebrate returning to school in 2014  for many children and families in Shellharbour. Let us take a look at Oak Flats Public School in the 1950's.

Let us reflect and appreciate the humble beginnings from 156 student enrolments in 1952 to 435 student enrolments in 2012. 

The school situated in Central Avenue Oak Flats, and bounded by Wentworth, Moore and Griffiths Streets, was officially opened on 16th May 1952 by the Minister for Education Mr. R J Heffron. The Principal was Mr John Caldwell and 156 students were enrolled at the time of opening.

When the population doubled by 1956, more buildings were added to the complex including a preschool. ('150 Years Shellharbour' The Tongarra Heritage Society Inc).

Oak Flats Public School. Photo date: 1952. Donor: R J Simpson. Photographer: R J Simpson.

Officials at the opening of Oak Flats Primary School 1952. Front Left to Right: A Murray (P&C President), Pat Sweeney (Teacher), R J Heffron (Minister for Education), Ald. C H Moore. Second row Left to Right: Unknown, Mrs Caldwell, John Caldwell (Principal), Howard Fowles M.L.A. Third row Left to Right: District Inspector of Schools, unknown, Keith Gray (Mayor), Bernie K Larson, Joan Simpson. Left side of verandah: Ivy Murray & child, Mrs Stanford jnr, Mrs Stanford snr, Rosemary Stanford (child). Right side of verandah: Peter Simpson, Mrs Peason, unknown.
Photo date: 1952. Donor: R J Simpson. Photographer: R J Simpson.

Oak Flats Public School. Photo taken across Central Avenue, Oak Flats. Photo date: 1962. Donor: Lyndall Kirchmajer. Photographer: Arthur Bramley. ( Shellharbour Images).

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Little Lake

 In the tradition of holidays and all things summer we rewind time and enjoy past images of Little Lake, Barrack Point. A beautiful destination enjoyed by many locals and visitors throughout the years.

Aerial photograph Barrack Point 1964. View east with Little Lake in the foreground to Windang Island. Photo date: 1964. Donor: J P Ramsay. Photographer: Ken Redshaw.

Swimming in Little Lake near Elliott Park. Left to Right: Kevin Hughes with his son, Leslie. Nancy Irvine and her baby, visiting from Bathurst, and Lynette Hughes. Photo date: c1950’s. Donor: Kevin Hughes.

Boating and swimming near the entrance to Little Lake and Warilla beach. Photodate: c 1950’s. Photo: Shellharbour Images.

Aerial view: Entrance to Little Lake, Barrack Point, 1983. Little Lake catchment is composed of the sub catchment of Bensons Creek in the north and Tongarra Creek in the south.
Little Lake estuary is at the southern end of Warilla beach. Photo date: 1983. Donor: Russell East. Series: Russel East Collection.

Fishing at Little Lake in the 1950’s. Photograph: Shellharbour Images

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Beverley Whitfield

Shellharbour resident Beverley Whitfield, born in 1954, was an Australian Olympic swimmer and record holder.

She grew up in Shellharbour and attened Shellharbour Public School until the pursuit of her dream took her first to Sydney and later to the American town of Midland, Texas. From the age of 11 she was coached by Terry Gathercole, recognised as Australia’s finest breaststroke coach.

In 1969, after he became head coach at Midland, she joined him, boarding with his family and attending a local high school. It was a costly mission, unassisted by any kind of sponsorship and paid for by her family. Later, on her return to Australia, Gathercole arranged for her to join Don Talbot’s squad.

She won a gold and bronze medal representing Australia in the breaststroke events at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Germany. She also won three gold medals in the 1970 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and two silver medals in the 1974 Christchurch Commonwealth Games.
  Shellharbour Council held a Civic Reception in Beverley's honour on her return from the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. 

Beverley later worked as a youth worker for the New South Wales Department of Youth and Community Services in Shellharbour and Wollongong.

Shellharbour City Council is keeping alive the inspirational story of the local Olympic gold medallist and record holder, through an award program, "The Beverley Whitfield Award" for budding champions of the pool. The award was introduced in 2001, and is now presented annually to the senior male and female swimming champions at each of the primary schools in the Shellharbour Local Government Area.

Known as the “Darling of Shellharbour”, sadly Beverley died in 1996 at age forty two. Her funeral was attended by many Australian Sporting Champions.

Beverley's name and achievements have been honoured in the Shellharbour Hall of Fame.


Olympic gold medal winner Beverley Whitfield with Mayor Keith Grey and Mrs. Grey. Photo - Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Above: Beverley Whitfield showing her Olympic Gold Medal. (Photo: Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries)


Above: Opening of the Beverley Whitfield Pool named in her honour in Shellharbour, 1994.
Below L to R: Edgar (Dunc) Gray, Mayor Cec Glenholmes, Beverley Whitfield, Andy Gerke and Terry Gathercole.
(Photos: Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries)