Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Pool cards : Melbourne Olympic swimming stadium

This one is cheating a bit. Not really a postcard. It's a swap card. Mum saw Dawn Fraser winning a gold medal here at the 1956 Olympics.

From Wikipedia: This pool was the first fully indoor Olympic swimming venue in an Olympic Games and is the only major stadium structure from the 1956 Olympic Games with the facade intact. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

After redevelopment in the 1980s, the venue became the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre and later The Glass House.

The luxury vehicle manufacturer Lexus bought the naming right to the venue in 2004; as the Lexus Centre, it no longer served as a public stadium, instead being used by the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Collingwood Football Club as a sports administration and training facility.

On 21 November 2009, Collingwood Football Club announced publicly on the official AFL website that Lexus would no longer continue to maintain the rights of naming the centre. Lexus announced in a statement that "the branding exercise had achieved its marketing objectives and was no longer a priority in its marketing strategy", hence ending a six year naming rights deal between Lexus and Collingwood.
In March, 2010, Collingwood announced that Westpac bank was the new naming rights sponsor of the centre.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Pool postcard: Moree Spa Baths

I taught in Moree in my first appointement as a young teacher (1979 -80). The pool was a focal point for the town, and because Moree has hot spa water emanating from the Great Artesian Basin, is a popular place for many European visitors who like going there, especially in winter to "take the waters".

But Moree pool has another, more emblematic place in Australian history.

In February 1965, a group of young Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal supporters, led by one of the first Aboriginal students to enrol at Sydney University, Charles Perkins, set off in a bus to tour NSW country towns, protesting about discrimination against Aborigines. They travelled 3,200 kilometres through northern NSW, inspired by the Civil Rights movement in the US and its Freedom Rides.

At the time Aborigines were banned from many clubs, pubs and other public venues, as well as attending segregated "mission schools" or subject to exclusion from public schools on flimsy pretexts.

In the town of Moree, 650 km nothwest of Sydney the Freedom Riders decided to protest against the exclusion of Aborigines from the local swimming pool. I've written a lot on my blogs about the place of swimming in Australian culture. This protest was emblematic of segregation from one aspect of Australian identity culture. After the protest in Moree, the Freedom Riders had international media coverage.

With the press coverage came pressure from both outside and within Australia for reform, culminating in the 1967 referendum which granted the Commonwealth government the power to make laws for Aborigines, effectively granting Australia's Indigenous people citizenship for the first time.

The bus left from the University of Sydney on Saturday 12th February then travelled through Lithgow, Wellington, Dubbo (12th-13th), Gulargambone (14th), Walgett (14th-16th), Moree (16th-18th), Boggabilla, Toomelah and Goondawindi (18th), Inverell, Tingha and the Myall Creek Memorial (18th-20th), Lismore (20th-22nd), Yamba, Grafton, Bowraville (22nd), Kempsey (22nd-24th), Taree and Purfleet (24th-25th) and Newcastle (25th). The bus returned to Redfern on Saturday 26th February.

When I taught in Moree, the baths looked like this

They were subsequently upgraded
There's  ahistory of the baths at this site. It includes some vintage photos. The 50 m 6 lane pool is also fed from the fresh spring water and is a constant year-round 25.5 degrees.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Pool postcard: Merriwa NSW

Merriwa is a town of about 1000 people in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW. It has a Central School and I reckon the photo for this card was taken during a school  swimming carnival. This looks like a House Relay event.

Judging by the long socks and shorts and hairdo's of the men, it was taken sometime in the 1970s! I "taught" with those blokes - gulp, I even married one of them! Not literally....

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Pool postcards: Blackheath, NSW

Postcard date unknown - but I am guessing 1950s/60s?
 Below: photos of Blackheath pool from October 2006. Blackheath is in the Upper Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. It has cold winters. This pool is seasonal. opening between late Novemeber and the end of March.

Here's a Blog from the group Friends of Blackheath Pool and their Facebook page