Roller skate at Maroochydore (BL21)
Warning to mother – Probably best you don’t read this one.
When I was 15 and living in Coffs Harbour I had a girlfriend at the time that lived in Taree, a town situated 221km to the south. We saw each other every couple of months until her and her family moved to near Nambour on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
Every winter my grandmother and uncle used to come up to Coffs from Victoria to escape the winter cold. They would generally stay for about 3 months. My uncle Jack had a mate that lived in Caloundra, also on the Sunshine Coast, and he would normally go up there for a couple of weeks for a hit of golf. Well this year I convinced mum and dad to let me get a lift with Uncle Jack up there and stay with my girlfriend for 2 weeks during the school holidays. It was all teed up with my girlfriends mum.
The night I arrived happened to be the day of my girlfriends 16th birthday pyjama party with a dozen girlfriends. All innocent mind you. The deal was that I was sleeping in her brothers bedroom. Anyway, the next evening, a Saturday and 10 days prior to my own 16th birthday, we were going roller skating. Or so I (and her mother) thought.
So her mum drives us into town around 7pm and drops us off outside the rink in Cotton Tree, Maroochydore. I was so excited as I loved roller skating and it was all the rage in the 1970’s. We used to go out to Bonville from Coffs Harbour to The Lazy Daisy Caravan Park where they had an outdoor rink. It was the done thing on a Friday or Saturday night. It was always great fun.
Anyway, back to that Saturday night. We were dropped off opposite the roller rink and as we crossed the road her mums car disappeared around the corner. As we mounted the footpath my girlfriend tugged at my hand pulling me away from the direction of the rink. I asked what was going on “aren’t we going in here?” “No” she replied and followed up with “we are going somewhere else”. At this stage I was disappointed as I was seriously looking forward to our night out together roller skating and wondering what could be better than that.
We ended up at the beachfront at Alexander Headland and walked into what must have been a backpacker place. I remember we went upstairs and into this dark room that was literally filled with beds. There must have been at last half a dozen beds of different sizes and bunk beds at one end. I was aware of a couple in a double bed but there was no conversation whatsoever. So here I was bewildered and unsure of what was happening when this guy appears at the door and says “here, you might need this” and puts something into my hand. I had no idea what it was at the time and was too afraid to ask. It was a spermicidal foam form of contraception but I didn’t know that until years later. So we climb up onto the top bunk and the rest as they say, is history. After a (short) period of time we left the room and went across the road and sat in the park on the foreshore until it was time to head back to the rink . We just got back to the entrance as her mum arrived and of course when asked how our evening roller skating went we replied in unison “good”.
So I didn’t get to roller skate in Maroochydore on Saturday 24th August 1974. I am now here 45 years later and the Roller Skating Rink is long gone. It is now accommodation and some shops. Roller skating went out of fashion, replaced by skateboarding, so I found a skate park around the corner at Alexander Headland and borrowed some random guys board.
So here is a picture of me finally “skating” on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.