Remember When: This is what the Sikh Temple at Woolgoolga looked like in 1980.
Remember When: This is what the Sikh Temple at Woolgoolga looked like in 1980. ?Lindsay Metcalfe

Headlines throughout History

The year that was 1980

  • It was an exciting time for the Coffs Harbour Pet Porpoise Pool with a female bottle-nosed dolphin named "Happy" being born at the facility. This was the first birth to take place in the Pet Porpoise Pool during its nine years of operation.


  • The axe-throwing records of the previous year were broken again at the Ulong Forest Fair. Chris Perkins defeated his own record, while Emerald Beach resident Ann Schultz beat Pam Wear's 1979 record.



  • The Advocate announced the approval of a new cinema-convention centre for the town. The 253-seat facility would be constructed on the corner of Gordon and Vernon Sts.




The Butter Factory as it was in 1984.
The Butter Factory as it was in 1984. Dick Willis

The year that was 1981

  • 1981 began with another influx of tourists over the holiday season, with the Advocate claiming "there wasn't a bed to spare". Tourism officer Paul McKeon announced in January that tourist-spending on the Coffs Coast had topped $50 million over the last 12 months.


  • Local resident Al Ramsey was awarded the Order of the British Empire for "25 years dedicated service to the sport of basketball".



  • January also saw a proposal for the construction of a 19-storey luxury apartment block. The apartments, called Pacific Towers, were to be located at Park Beach and built at a cost of $4 million.



  • Local residents angrily opposed the closing of Castle St to make way for the construction of the new Woolworths store. Despite the threat of legal action from retailers, the council soon approved construction and began the final steps to close the street. The new store created 200 jobs when it opened for business later in the year.



  • Coffs Harbour businesses, residents and clubs banded together to donate money to the Yalbillinga special school, which was facing closure due to a $25,000 debt.



  • 962 marijuana plants were seized during a series of drug raids in Bellingen and surrounding areas.



The old Butter Factory being demolished over 20 years ago.
The old Butter Factory being demolished over 20 years ago. Dick Willis
  • Bellingen Council began the demolition of the town's community centre in March 1981.
  • A dozen police were the only protection workers had from the crowd of 100 protesters.


  • Following severe water restrictions that had limited locals' water usage over the last decade, council lifted the ban on hoses and sprinklers.On the same day the Advocate printed a story about the long-lasting drought the coast had been experiencing, enough rain settled in to substantially end the dry spell.



  • Coffs Harbour Hospital started to face capacity issues when 22 patients needed to squeeze into the 20-bed maternity ward in one night.



  • Hogbin Drive - commonly referred to as "the Link Road" by locals - was officially opened in October.



  • A huge debate was sparked when Coles submitted a proposal for a new shopping centre at the showgrounds. The project would create 600 new jobs for locals and, despite Coles offering to construct a new showground on the Link Road, the Coffs Harbour Showground Trust rejected the proposal.




The Promenade as it stands today.
The Promenade as it stands today. Coffs Local History

The year that was 1982


  • 1982 began with local banana growers frustrated at a local supermarket which bought its bananas from a Queensland supplier.



  • Coffs Aquajet owner Ken Lessells offered $25,000 to end a rumour stating someone had received 90 stitches after being cut by a razor blade that was stuck inside one of the slides with chewing gum.


A joint initiative of The Coffs Coast Advocate and Facebook Group Coffs Local History.

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