Port Macquarie News - Wednesday 31 December 1969
No other decade in Port Macquarie's 151 years can come near the 1960s for progress and prosperity with building figures passing the $3 million mark for the first time in 1967, $4.5 million in 1969.
Holiday accommodation and shopping facilities are threefold today what they were ten years ago; private homes almost doubled in number in this decade, and population rose from 5,000 to 8,000.
The "News" recalls a few of the notable events of the decade; a town plan was adopted; major subdivisions doubled the numbers of rateable lots; the Valuer-General's Dept., came and land values jumped with a record price of $860 per foot paid for Horton St. land; sealed road mileage increased four times; sewerage was introduced and the water supply augmented and extended; a new council chambers was built and town crest adopted.
A bridge across the Hastings got rid of the ferry at Blackman's Point; a bridge in Kooloonbung brought east and west Port Macquarie closer. The road was sealed through Cathie to Laurieton; Oxley Highway reconstruction became a reality and a Divisional Office of the D.M.R. opened in Port Macquarie.
The museum opened and was doubled in size with a new building and restoration work started on the Church of St. Thomas. Presbyterians got a new church and hall, Methodists a new church and youth centre, Catholics a new school, new hall, and convent; the Baptists came and built a church.
Heron's Creek opened its big mill; Woolworths came and Rural and National banks.
The 1960s saw the start of the Kooloonbung reclamation scheme; Mrs. York's Garden burst into life, preservation came for the Christmas Bells.
Thrumster Village, Sea Acres Sanctuary, Fantasy Glades and Marbuk Park opened.
Players, Singers, Art and Orchid societies, Lapidary, Camera and Garden Clubs all sprang up. The High School opened in 1963; we gained an Observatory, a Youth Club, Aged People's homes, and a Senior Citizens' Club.
Automatic phones came with the P.M.G. building in Grant Street, and a new post office was built. Television came; night landings and jet planes to the airport.
There was also a new ambulance station, new R.S.L. Club, new halls for Scouts and Guides, new Masonic Temple, and new Cattle Saleyards.
The Olympic Pool opened in 1966; a new golf club house and a new 18-hole golf links, as did new bowling club houses and bowling greens; the new race track belongs to 1968 and the ski gardens to 1963.
State and National sporting events - surfing and fishing - were held here for the first time.
A tourist information office was opened, a tourist committee and finally a regional tourist authority created. An outstanding features of the decade was the town's rise to prominence as a Conference Centre, started by a humble organisation - The Vegetable Growers' Association - with their State-wide Growers' Conference In 1961.
Almost 200 inches of rain fell in the two wettest successive years on record, 1963 and 1963, and there is also the memory of that disastrous "tornado" in July, 1963, when two water spouts came in off the sea and joined forces over the town.