Historic pavillion re-opens tomorrow

North Wollongong Beach, showing the pavillion. Photo: Wollongong Tourism.

FOR Wollongong City Councillor Chris Connor the reopening of the North Beach Bathers Pavilion will have an extra special twist. He will be following in his late grandfather’s footsteps.

Cr Connor’s grandfather, Rex Connor was one of the then Wollongong Council aldermen who opened the historic building back in 1938.

“It’s a very special thing to be on the council that has overseen the revamp of this beautiful building and to be involved in the reopening this significant site to the community,’’ Cr Connor said.

Cr Chris Connor

Mr Connor said when the building is officially opened on September 30 he will be thinking about his grandfather and how proud he would be to see his legacy still standing and still a significant part of our community’s beach lifestyle.

“Mr grandfather was a great believer in serving the Wollongong community and I think it would mean a lot to see the Pavilion revamped, and with the new pedestrian and bike track that is part of the Blue Mile project.’’

Cr Connor said it was important to remember the North Beach Bathers Pavilion was a significant Depression-era project that provided essential employment for people across the community.

Rex Connor

“I’ve so much respect for those councillors who had the initiative and determination to see a project of this magnitude,’’ he said.

Cr Connor’s grandfather followed his six years as a councillor with stints as a State (1950-63) and Federal Member (63-77) where he was Minister for Minerals and Energy and a senior member of the Whitlam administration. He passed away in 1977 while still in office. He was given a state funeral.

Council is calling for any descendents of the Councillors who were in office in 1938 to contact Customer Service Centre on (02) 4227 7111.

About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


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