Monday 3 October 2011

VIDEO: Cairns in 1964, just 25,000 pop. Bliss

"A small city in the tropical north of Queensland, Cairns boasts a life that is leisurely and comfortable..." so says the propaganda for this Commonwealth Film Unit 1964 showreel.

"The tempo quickens, however, at cane-cutting time when the sugar is harvested, and in winter when tourists come north to escape the cold."

A good friend of mine likened this video as dishonest as any Nazi propaganda, Goebels would be proud.

The Dept of Immigration should be sending out an apology to all those who were fooled into thinking that this was the true Australia.

You may also find it disturbing. No wonder the Poms whinged when they got here and discovered that although it painted a picture of a pure white culture and there were black people living here too god forbid.

Apart from all that, it was amazing to see what Cairns town looked like when I was born.


Syd Walker said...

It's a classic film Mike and thanks for showing it.

Made at a time when Australia's Dept of Immigration was focused on attracting more boats, not less :-)

The film-maker managed not to notice (1) Aboriginal people (2) The reef (3) The rainforest

Makes me wonder what we might be missing that'll be central to our view of this region two generations hence?

Anonymous said...

So much has changed. The rot started with our late entry to the Property boom that made us into a haven for outer-urban Brisbane homebuyers with more mortgage than sense.

JCM1959A (YouTube) said...

This was what Cairns was like and sorry to disillusion you but there were very few aboriginal families in Cairns. Some, yes but few. I went to a primary school that is now almost all aboriginal and in my years there (1964 to 1970) there were about a dozen aboriginal kids in the whole school. We lived near Cazaly's for 17 years and there were no aboriginal families in that part of Cairns at all. Not saying it was good, bad or otherwise but Cairns was mostly white.

Mazzyboy said...

@CairnsBlog agreed! I thorougly enjoyed the sanctity of the footage. But is a safe, sanitised, unbalanced white christian view and it was not always my reality.
As a boy growing up in Cairns in the 1960's, I saw the ugly drunken side of the Barbary Coast, displaced Murray people and the corrupt culture of (some) Queensland politicians.
That said, I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced my seminal years in that paradise.

Local Joe said...

There were some aboriginal and TI families living in Bungalow at what was originally "Malaytown", however most were still living on the aboriginal reserves. Mixed marriages were rare, and couples were likely to be ostracized. Racism or more like it, xenophobia, was commonplace. With a large blue collar workforce, including hundreds of wharfies in 1964, the Barbary Coast was known for its knucklemen and brawling. One of the more interesting wharfie characters was "Tiger O'Shane", father of Danny, Tim and daughter Pat who became the first aboriginal judge in Australia.