Letters to the Editor from 50 years ago

Sir,

Congratulations to our Council for giving away some more of our valuable waterfront reserves for a privately owned tourist attraction.

Whilst they are in this generous mood could they please provide the locals with a necessity safe, decent access to Oxley, Nobby, and Miner’s and other beaches. If a plea for and by the “locals” goes unheard, then think of it as a tourist attraction.

“Fed-up Mountaineer”

Losing our history

Dear Sir,

It would appear that over the years a Whelan the Wrecker complex has taken hold of Port Macquarie and many buildings connected with the town’s past have been sacrificed on the altar of the motel and holiday flat gods, or, more precisely, for the quick dollar!

The ‘modernised’ Royal Hotel with motel units, c1967.

The ‘modernised’ Royal Hotel with motel units, c1967.

The historic Well Motel, 1960s.

The historic Well Motel, 1960s.

With the exception of the Historical Society it appears that not very many persons connected with the administration of Port really give a damn for anything associated with the district’s early and colourful history. The site where once stood the old mill is now graced by a holiday flat.

The old gaol is now a motel, although plans have been animated to preserve its old well. Rumour has it that even St. Thomas’ Church of England stood in fear of the wrecker’s hammer and would have been destroyed had not the interested minority acted on its behalf.

The scheduled destruction of the old waterfront building in which the Masonic meetings are held and the demolition of the court house for a more functional structure will almost complete the lunatic cycle.

Meanwhile, the only convict built house left In Horton Street is slowly falling to pieces while serving its master as a car saleyard and warehouse for mechanical odds and ends. Many history lovers would gladly shoot on sight those responsible for the damage done to the almost century old Royal Hotel in the name of modernisation.

The list is endless but the irony monumental. Port Macquarie is, by necessity, a tourist centre. But tourism requires more than modern motels and porpoise pools, although these are also a must.

The number of people who might have come to Port Macquarie in the past and could have come in the future just to photograph and look at first-hand connections with Australia’s earliest days is beyond the reckoning of the cash registers they would have filled.

Any person disputing fact need only look to the booming tourist industries of such nations as Britain and Greece ... they are exactly based on their versions of the expressed principle.

In future the history-minded tourist need not bother coming to Port Macquarie, for, if the present trend is followed, its history will only be recorded in books and pamphlets.

For this the tourist need only travel to his local library. In addition to all of this the loss to future generations amounts to nothing short of tragic and criminal. Time has not yet completely run out.

Shake yourself out of your lethargy, Mr Mayor, and Mr State Member!

Wake up your local businessmen and residents ... it’s almost too late!

(Mr) JOHN NEAL