Major improvement in telephone service

Automatic Exchange in Operation 

A new and modern automatic crossbar type telephone exchange costing approximately $420,000 was brought into operation at 7am. on Saturday, 18th March, 1967, at Port Macquarie. Twelve hundred business and residential subscribers were involved in the changeover from manual to automatic working. The provision of the new automatic telephone exchange and the availability of subscriber trunk dialling (S.T.D.) is an important and major step in improving telephone service in the town and district.

Telephone exchange staff: Anne Douglas, Denise Griffiths, Mrs Lorna Goodwill, 1967

Telephone exchange staff: Anne Douglas, Denise Griffiths, Mrs Lorna Goodwill, 1967

The old manual exchange in the Post Office building which served the local community and provided service for many years had reached full capacity, and may be regarded as having reached the end of its useful life. Engineering staff have been active during recent months as a preliminary to the change-over, in installing new switchboards and telephones in the town and this equipment is now in full operation. 

Post Office staff have also been busy in past weeks giving instructions to Port Macquarie telephone users to ensure that they are made fully conversant with the operation of their new telephones and in particular that they are sufficiently acquainted with the advantages which may be derived by them by the usage of S.T.D. Although the manual exchange staff will no longer be required at Port Macquarie, they have been absorbed in similar duties at nearby and distant exchanges. In general arrangements were made to meet the wishes of the girls concerned. Port Macquarie subscribers are now required to use the 1967 issue of the telephone directory which lists the new telephone numbers.

Welcome to Miss Australia   

Aldermen and their wives were joined by representatives of town organisations and members of the Spastic Centre Council in welcoming "Miss Australia" (Miss Margaret Rohan) to Port Macquarie on Thursday last.

Sonya Huxley (Miss Australia), Margaret Rohan and Robyn Stewart at the Spastic Centre Council, Port Macquarie Branch welcome lunch, 1967.

Sonya Huxley (Miss Australia), Margaret Rohan and Robyn Stewart at the Spastic Centre Council, Port Macquarie Branch welcome lunch, 1967.

Hosts to this charming visitor were Port Macquarie charmers Miss Robyn Stewart and Sonya Huxley, president and secretary of the Spastic Centre's branch at Port Macquarie. Mrs. Eastes, representing the Spastic Centre, accompanied "Miss Australia". Robyn is currently "Miss North Coast", having won that honour in the contest in which Miss Rohan emerged as "Miss Australia;" also greeting Miss Rohan were two Port Macquarie entrants in this year's quest, Miss June McPherson and Miss Dianne Moore. 

The surf club catered for the luncheon, and thanks for their fine efforts were expressed by Miss Huxley. Miss Stewart chaired the function and capably welcomed the many guests, including the mayor, Ald. Crisp, who paid tribute to the fine contribution so many young women – including local girls – made towards assisting the Spastic Centre by their participation in the quest.

The visitors were guests of the Town Beach Motel. Margaret Rohan assured the candidates for this year's Miss Australia Quest that they would have "a fabulous time,''' and she wished them success in what to so many girls had been the greatest experience in their lives. 

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