HISTORY SHOWS: Hervey Bay lead the way in innovation
FROM such small beginnings to the bustling city of today, Hervey Bay has lead the way in a variety of things that have now become the accepted norm.
As an example, in 1961, Torquay School started a morning and afternoon ‘School Crossing’ on Torquay Road, long before the lollipop ladies were to be part of every school’s safety program.
Although there were not as many vehicles in those days along Torquay Rd, the crossing was manned by school children.
Four children would stand each corner of the zebra crossing and the fifth student would dutifully walk out into the middle of the road and stop all traffic to allow children to cross. Most of the time they were not even supervised by teachers.
Children learned to be responsible. The Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum would love to be able to name the children in the photo.
In the 1930’s, an intrepid local made a floating bicycle with paddle wheels and spent hours paddling along Scarness beach to the amazement of onlookers.
This idea was later developed by large companies who manufactured similar machines which became readily available at many seaside resorts and swimming pools.
A recent article on the Museum’s Facebook page about Hervey Bay being promoted as the Caravan Capital of Australia in the 1960/70 era with some 23 caravan parks, created much interest.
One of the very first caravans ever made in Queensland was made by a local who obtained the working plans from America, long before caravans were mass produced.
True to the plans, the van was made, complete with the door on the wrong side! (Americans drive on the right hand side of the road!) The photo of the Pialba Caravan Park, c. 1950, shows the mainly canvas tents and a few “modern” bondwood caravans.
The insert shows the original 1930s model with right-hand door.
From being the first rural area in Australia to have 240 volt electricity from a privately owned power station to the hundreds of unique bathhouses lining the foreshore in the early days, Hervey Bay has in so many ways been very inventive, even producing light aircraft that were sold all over the world.
Do you know of more Hervey Bay “firsts”?
The Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum would love to hear your story.