Aerial shot of Toormina in the 1970s.
Aerial shot of Toormina in the 1970s. Picture Coffs Harbour

The year that was 1971 on the Coffs Coast

TO mark The Coffs Coast Advocate's 110-year anniversary we're revisiting the headlines of history on the Coffs Coast.

Headlines from 1971-72:

-89 Year 12 students from the previous year at Coffs Harbour High School had passed the Higher School Certificate.

-At the beginning of 1971 Coffs Harbour local, Lieutenant Colonel G.A. (Donn) Patterson, was awarded the Order of the British Empire.

-February proved to be a busy month for Coffs Coast residents, beginning with the council approving a proposal for a new shopping mall to be built in High Street.

-At the same time, plans for a $760,000 boat harbour to be constructed in Coffs Harbour were announced by the State Government.

-February also saw metal trade employees hold a 24-hour strike.

-In what was the town's first ever large-scale strike, more than 120 workers appealed against working conditions. After being threatened with dismissal, the staff returned to work in March and no changes were made.

-The Coffs Coast was in shock in June following the brutal murder of local mother Sandra Truscott. A reward of $5000 was established by the State Government for anyone who had any information. Her murderer was arrested and convicted in January 1972.

-The population of Coffs Harbour and its surrounding towns had now risen to 18,629, while 10,107 people resided in Coffs itself.

-Supreme Court sat in Coffs Harbour for the first time in July.

-Banana Growers Federation announced in August that banana production in NSW was the lowest it had been in the last decade. Meanwhile, banana growers claimed returns were lower than what they got 20 years earlier.

-1972 began with the trial and conviction of the murderer of local mother-of two Sandra Truscott.

-The Advocate announced that Coffs Harbour was set to receive a $500,000 automatic telephone exchange. Most of the work was to be completed by the end of the year.

-A proposal for a local Meals on Wheels service was put forward in February.

-The Bellinger River at Urunga was officially re-named the Kalang River when the Urunga bridge was opened in March.

-Coffs Harbour Racing Club revealed plans for a $375,000 spectator area in April. The TAB also opened new branches at the Jetty and Sawtell.

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