Tuesday, 2 October 2007

BONDI BEACH for National Heritage List ?

This photo was taken in June 2007 showing the amount of sand deposited on the promenade after massive king tides.

The small single story, white building smack bang in the centre of the photo ... my Grandma lived there for forty years ...

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that by the end of the year it is expected than Bondi Beach will be included on the National Heritage List. I dunno whether to laugh or cry.

Born and bred in Bondi I was there before it became a state of New Zealand when the K1W1's took over the then Astra Hotel, when Johnny Dixon owned the Caltex Service Station that is now James Packer's apartment, when I cried on my first day of school at Bondi Beach Public School before anyone thought of it becoming a trendy weekend market and Bondi Baths was where my Mum took me to be taught to learn to swim by Sep Prosser where no kiosk nor trendy eatery existed.

The trams rattled down the centre of the wide road, that eventually became parking but is now widened to hold the massive amount of traffic. My Grandma used to watch me down on the beach through binoculars (that's scarey isn't it?). Before me My Mum grew up in the same flat, swam in the bogey hole at Ben Buckler and strolled "the prom" on a Sunday afternoon.

I spent three years - that's another story - living there with my Grandma, a more well known Bondi identity than I realised at the time. For years she worked in the tiny kiosk, as big as a cupboard, where she flogged cigarettes, tobacco and lottery tickets on the corner of Campbell Parade and Hall Street where access was only possible when she lifted up the hutch to let me clamber in! I thought I was so special being allowed into that inner sanctum as her cronies lent on the ledge smoking and gossiping while the wind whipped round the corner.

I was there when the Ravesi's worked in their milk bar. Mr Ravesi with his comb over and Mrs Ravesi all red hair and style and when Bob Barrett was butchering in Hall. Street I knew of the rivalry as the Greek Bates Brothers ran their Milk Bar opposite Ravesi's, when the Gelato Bar opened, everyone said it wouldn't last and how we couldn't believe out eyes at the luscious, lavish cakes in the window. Remembering the treat when I used to take a saucepan down to the Chinese Restaurant at 152 Campbell Parade and struggle back up the stairs grasping the lid of the hot saucepan tightly so the sweet and sour pork didn't spill, how cospmopolitan that was!

Now the way too wealthy and often too arrogant Malcolm Turbull, is promoting for this National Heritage gig and one can only wonder what's in it for him. This character doesn't usually do much unless there's ... well, let's wait and see.

I'll take another stroll down memory lane again soon!


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