Long-time local Con Souvlis reminisces about the past.
Long-time local Con Souvlis reminisces about the past. Robyne Cuerel

Bay identity Con Souvlis remembers family of hard workers

OPINION: I started to think about the people who worked at Jane Day's cafe, which was next to my first business on the Esplanade at Torquay, and one name came to mind.

Her name was Sarah Lack, whose husband was Jacob Lack. This couple was one of the old families from Hervey Bay.

Sarah was the person who would peel all the potatoes out the back of the cafe and she would cook chips all day.

Con Souvlis.
Con Souvlis. Robyne Cuerel

Their home was a rental house near the boat harbour that had a large piece of land attached to it.

All the land in that area was leasehold and I held a real estate licence as I worked for Walter Pavey (senior) as manager of his office here in Hervey Bay at the time.

It was by showing a client Jacob's rental house and land that I got to know him and his family.

A wealthy farmer whose name was Berkley Keys bought the home and land and another real estate person then sold him another piece of land, which was behind the Lack rental home, and this parcel of land became the Anchorage Caravan Park.

Mr Keys also purchased land in Torquay behind what used to be the Playa Concha Motel, which is now Greens Motel.

All this land is now called Keys Avenue.

Getting back to the Lack family.

They had seven children, some of whom became fishermen.

They were very hard workers.

They have been customers of mine (at my Betta Electrical store) since then.

Jacob used to have a charter boat, which took people on fishing trips and he had huts on Fraser Island.

They were a first for this area, so I'm told.

A very big part of the history was the Orient Guest House, which was owned by the Lack family also.

It was situated on the Esplanade at Scarness, where Pacific Gardens Units are now.

Many young married couples enjoyed their honeymoon there and a few years ago a customer of mine brought in a photo of him and his bride standing outside the guesthouse.

Boy, her shorts were short!

Mrs Lack would do the cooking for the guests on a huge wood stove.

It was the same brand I later sold in my store.

The guest list grew to 120 over the holidays. What a feat.

These memories were told to me by Jacob's son Vernon, who still lives in Hervey Bay today.

Sadly the Orient Guest House burnt down in the 60s.

I hope you have liked my memories so far and, God willing, you will read another chapter next week.

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