Early Canberra



Posted on October 3, 2010 at 3:14 AM

In the CANBERRA 1920s section an article from the Canberra Times 1926 is typed.  The names of people who bought the leases and costs are included with an overall description of the shopping centre and residences.  This shopping centre had an Arcade which is still in use.   The residences are no longer in use for that purpose.


I came to Canberra in 1941 and went to Telopea Park Infants and Primary School. Opposite the Manuka Shops was the old Capitol Theatre where I went to the Saturday arvo pictures with friends.  The Tarzan films along with cowboy ones were the favourites - and of course the old swashbuckling pirate films.  The old theatre had a small shop where we bought out lollies that included fantails in a box that was shaped to allow the motif of an open fan to show.


In the shopping centre there are two shops that come to mind readily - one was Gumley's which was a milk bar and the other was Wilkies whose pies were of great fame to the local populace.  Wilkie supplied the lunch pies to the children and staff of Telopea Park and probably to St Christopher's RC Church School run by the Good Samaritan nuns.  I never met Sister Stanislaus (my girl friend attended St Christophers),but even to this day I would not cross her - yet she was probably a most gentle person.


The Manuka shops were never as popular as the Kingston shops but more favoured than the Civic Shops - but then I am even today a southsider rather than a northsider of Canberra - so I am still biased.


The article mentions Cusacks where my parents bought the furniture for our cottage - 27 Westlake.  By the time I came to Canberra St Christopher's Cathedral at Manuka was built. On the end where the altar stands there was an apse which was painted blue with stars if I recall properly - this church was where Father Haydon preached.  He was great friends with Archdeacon Robertson - anglican - rector of St John the Baptist Church at Reid.  Father Haydon died far too young and is buried in Woden Cemetery.


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