Monday 19th August
It’s Seniors Week. We both qualify. A local parliamentary member put on a week of activities.
Today was a free breakfast in the courtyard outside the Helensvale Library. The queue for bacon n egg rolls was longer than I was willing to wait. Then again with my low carbs diet perhaps it was a good thing I missed out. However the long life milk in my cup of tea was not pleasant. The rock and roll band was playing in an area surrounded on three sides by concrete and based on a concrete courtyard. The sound just echoed and bounced back into the street where cars and trucks and people were making noise. Any sound I could hear from the band was unrecognisable. The folks putting on a line dancing and rock and roll demonstrations had to dance on that unforgiving concrete courtyard and unless you came with a group, people seated at the tables wwere not interested in chatting. Then again it could be the noise was too loud for comfortable chatting.
There was a piece of artwork in the library foyer which has been entered in this years SWELL festival to be held at Currumbin Beach in September. This piece of sculpture captured my imagination and at least justified going to day one of Seniors week. Look at the eyesa. It seems they are watching you although the entire piece is made from chicken wire.
Apart from the wonderful piece of artwork I found the event… Boring.
We left after half an hour.
Tuesday 20th August
We decided to skip the rest of the Seniors Week activities.
Today I visited James Overell Park in Southport. It is situated on the Nerang River, just near the Sundale Bridge after which the river becomes The Broadwater which itself becomes The Coral Sea. I had some difficulty finding naming information about this park but finally found the following information on the ABC Local, Facebook page.
James Overell Park is a sports park in Southport.
It is fittingly named after James Overell who wasn’t only involved in local council, but was a keen sportsman.
James’ son, Peter Overell, says that in his younger years his father attended TSS (The Southport School) and was one of very few students who represented every sport that was played at the school, and did so at first level.
“He still actually holds the three-foot-six hurdles record, because they moved to three-foot-three hurdles, so they can never take that record away from him,” Peter says.
But the story of the Overell family and how they became a Southport household name goes back to 1883 in Brisbane.
Peter’s great, great grandfather owned a department store in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley called ‘Overells’.
He says Overells was one the dominating department stores in the retail scene of Brisbane at the time.
In 1955 the Overell family sold the Brisbane store, and Peter’s father (James) moved to the Gold Coast in 1956 to start a store here in Southport.
“It was an old burnt-out restaurant and he commenced a drapery and menswear, ladies wear, general store business, again called ‘Overells’.”
Peter says the store plays a big role in Southport’s retail history, staying open until 2002, when the retail game changed.
“Shopping centres were much more then… the whole nature of things had changed, Southport as a business centre changed a lot.”
Overells used to supply most of the school uniforms to schools including TSS and St Hildas.
“And then the schools decided to do it all themselves which in turn changed the whole nature of the town because the kids didn’t come down from the schools on a Friday afternoon the way they used to, they used to come and support all the other business in town – when there was no need for them to come down anymore a lot of those businesses just didn’t keep going,” Peter says.
He says in its heyday Southport was very vibrant and “was really a busy, busy town – back in the 60s/70s/early 80s in particular.”
Typically this park is ideally situated to see the waterway, the large exclusive houses, boats and high rise tourist buildings.
Saturday 24th August.
We supported our village bowls group by taking part in a Triples team afternoon. It is a bit amazing that considering Donnis may only play once or twice a year she still manages to put in a creditable performance. After the bowls we had almost 40 people attend a Pie, Peas, Potato and Gravy dinner. It was a nice social evening. We tried a new beer, Strumans Organic Lager. Usually I steer away from Organic because it is just an excuse to sell poor produce at twice the price. In this case the beer costs about the same as non- organic and has a pleasing taste as well. Well chosen, even if I do say so myself.