Way back when, Wednesdays

A leisurely Sunday at your library

Sunday at the Library

Bestselling author Amy Tan has been quoted as saying that “Libraries are the pride of the City.” http://www.azquotes.com/author/14434-Amy_Tan There is also a proverb that says that a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. Sundays can be a chance to relax, read, put on some music, spend time with family and just enjoy yourself. Which is why many people visit their local library. On 7 February 1979, the North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper, printed an article that focused on the success of opening the City of Tea Tree Gully Library on Sunday. We also learn from the article about the popularity of the library at North East Road and how much it had to offer patrons.  The Messenger story provides modern readers with a snapshot of this era and we can see how some things have changed.

In 1979 the Library was situated at 1020 North East Road, which is now the site of the Tea Tree Plus shopping centre. The Library was housed in a modern building, which opened in 1975, adjacent to, and constructed in the same mid-century modern architectural style as the Tea Tree Gully Civic Centre. The Council building had opened in 1967.


PH03979 Facade of Library

The Library at 1020 North East Road Modbury. Image: Community History Photograph Collection, Tea Tree Gully Library. PH03979


Most public libraries in South Australia did not open on Sundays until the late 1980s/early 1990s. In the Messenger article the Chief Council Librarian Felicity Langeveldt stated that opening Sundays had been successful because it was a convenient days for residents to use the Library service but also that many of them took advantage of using the listening posts.

In an era where listening to your favourite songs was not simply a matter of downloading music from iTunes or Google Play, the residents of the City of Tea Tree Gully congregated at the Library to put on headphones and sit around a listening station. It would be interesting to find out if you played vinyl records or audio cassettes. Now we can borrow CDs to play at home or in the car. Or you can login to a computer at the Library to play CDs or listen to UTube.



PH01012 Official opening of the Library at North East Road.

Opening of the Library on North East Road, Modbury in 1975,
photograph PH01012.


Sundays continue to be a popular time to visit the Library. In 2017 there was an average of 521 people coming through the door each Sunday (door counts varied from 395 to 625). Our members still love reading and using the City of Tea Tree Gully Library service. The Library remains a community hub and our collections have grown considerably in size and type since 1979! We have approximately 64,000 books for adults, 25000 for children and adolescents, 4,500 magazines and 17,000 audio visual materials (this includes DVDs, CDs and audiobooks). You can now also access audio and ebooks and take advantage of approximately 4 million items through the SA Public Libraries One Card Network.

In 2017 the Library lent out an average of 73,210 items per month. In December loans totalled 53,273, December being our quietest month and the Civic Centre was closed over the Christmas holiday period. Today, most people search for information online as well as going to a public library. Or they can stream web based entertainment.
Thirty-nine years have elapsed since the date of the Messenger article. So if you think about it, the Tea Tree Gully Library must have been a very busy place, lending out 46,624 items way back in December 1979!


Did you know…about video-game movies?

A new film based on the Tomb Raider series of games was released today. A reboot of the franchise that previously featured Angelina Jolie, it will be interesting to see how it performs both at the box office and with the critics.

You see, 2018 marks 25 years since Hollywood began tapping video games for movie plots, of which very few have been successful. That first film based on Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers series of games stared Bob Hoskins in the role of Mario and was a box office failure, costing more than $40 million to make but returning only $20 million. It was also panned by critics and today only has a 15% approval rating on the Rotten Tomatoes review site.

Financially, the most successful video game film to date is Warcraft by Legendary Pictures. Adapted from Blizzard Entertainment’s Strategy and online Roleplaying game, the film failed to break even in its US release and was only saved by the Chinese market despite the online game boasting more than 100 million active accounts. Critically, the most successful video game film is Prince of Persia with a rating of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes (Warcraft recieved 28%). On average the video game films recieve a 16% approval rating on the review site.

Will the new Tomb Raider finally break this trend?

Only time will tell…

In the meantime, why not check out the history of the Tomb Raider franchise or check out the Angelina Jolie incarnation of the character. Or, if you are brave, see if you can find some other video game movies on the library catalogue

International Women’s Day 2018

On Thursday the 8th of March the library was very excited to host its first ever International Women’s Day event. Close to 90 people attended the library for a delicious morning tea and presentation from special guest speaker Alice Fraser.


Alice is an award winning comedian, writer, broadcaster and performer, who treated guests to some hilarious and intelligent insights into what it means to be a woman today.  Her previous job as a lawyer and current role in the world of comedy means she is well versed in navigating the challenging waters of being a woman in traditionally male-dominated industries. Alice’s meaningful anecdotes and charismatic sense of humour left many with a broad smile on their face, with stories ranging from her Buddhist upbringing to inappropriate grandmothers and the importance of having uncomfortable conversations on the road to social progress.


Alice’s nuggets of wisdom about success in life sprinkled throughout her presentation also encouraged us to consider our own approaches to life. In particular, the suggestion of finding what you’re good at and endeavouring to use those skills in a way that benefits society elicited knowing nods from the crowd as we considered what that might mean to us.

Equal parts enlightening, empowering and undeniably funny, Alice’s presentation gave us all a great deal to think about in our own lives. We would like to extend a very warm thank you to Alice for joining us on an event milestone for the Tea Tree Gully Library. The great success of the event will no doubt be replicated at the next International Women’s Day gathering in 2019!


Even Anstey made sure she had a photo with Alice!


If you missed out on our morning tea or would like to hear more of her highly entertaining musings, Alice is currently performing her show “Ethos” at the Adelaide Fringe until March 18th.

Way back when, Wednesdays

Out there on my own

International Women’s Day 8 March 2018


It’s the early 1970s. Imagine being thrown out onto the street by your family because you became pregnant – they no longer wanted you. You only had the clothes you were wearing and some loose change in your pocket. You were homeless and you had no way to support yourself. There was no Parenting Benefit in existence at this time.
In the edition dated 25 August 1971, the North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper told one woman’s story, which highlighted the plight of young unmarried mothers. In a special report, made up of two articles on pages 1 and 3 the Leader sought to raise awareness of the financial issues, condemnation and social isolation single mothers experienced. A new South Australian organisation called ‘The Council for The Single Mother and Her Child’ could offer these girls help.

Unwed mothers

We have all heard the horror stories of young unmarried women being coerced or forced into giving up their babies for adoption during the 1960s. Children were also put in state run institutions such as orphanages. The Commonwealth Department of Social Services was created in 1939 and became fully operative in 1941. However, the Government did not introduce a supporting mother’s benefit for single mother’s pension until 1973. From 1942 in Australia, a single mother could only receive a small pension if she had been married and was widowed, deserted by her husband or divorced. You were also entitled to a benefit if you husband was in prison or a committed to a mental hospital, Seeing the lighter side, A history of the single parent pension in Australia.

“In 1973 supporting mother’s benefit was introduced for single mothers not entitled to widow’s pension. The new benefit was payable after a six-month waiting period, during which time the States remained responsible for the single mother’s income support under the Commonwealth-State cost-sharing arrangements introduced in 1968. The supporting mother’s benefit was extended in 1977 to single fathers, including widowers and divorcees, and renamed supporting parent’s benefit. The six-month waiting period for this benefit was abolished in 1980 when the States withdrew from the Commonwealth-State cost-sharing arrangements.”  Australian Bureau of Statistics

Unfortunately the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not hold data on the number of babies born in South Australia in 1971 but“1500 illegitimate births” does seem quite high for the population of South Australia. So you might think that having a baby ‘out of wedlock’ was not uncommon. However, Society viewed an unmarried pregnant women as having loose morals.


A woman seemed to experience most of the shame, rather than the father of the child. It could also be difficult for the mother of an illegitimate child to find a man to marry her and adopt her child as their own. Living together in a de-facto relationship was socially unacceptable. Unless your family were willing to support you financially and emotionally, a single pregnant woman faced some tough choices.

Sometimes a girl’s parents would insist on a young couple getting married as quickly as possible before her pregnancy started to show – what is known as a ‘shotgun wedding’. This was an attempt to not only hide the unplanned pregnancy or at least regain some of the respect that their daughter had lost by getting pregnant. The girl’s boyfriend was basically threatened by her father and told to take responsibility for the baby! Adoption was a common choice. The girl was supposed to move on with her life, when in fact she would always be dealing with the loss of her child. It should be acknowleged that some  fathers also reluctantly lost their children to adoption.

Legal abortions were not readily available. Never an easy decision for the mother, abortion was legalised in South Australia in 1969. Abortion was only legal if performed in a hospital and it was deemed by two medical practitioners that continuing a pregnancy was detrimental to the physical and mental health of the mother or if there was a substantial risk that the child would be seriously physically or mentally handicapped if it was born, Abortion Law in Australia  Frightened women also sought out illegal abortions, putting themselves at risk of infection and death.

Some brave young women did decide to keep their babies. At least ‘The Council for The Single Mother and Her Child’ was in existence in South Australia to help supply them with baby clothing, and support with finding accommodation and employment. A single mother would have received a child endowment payment as the Commonwealth Government’s Child Endowment Act of 1941 had introduced the payment of weekly sums to mothers of children under the age of 16. But it would have been very almost impossible for a single woman to find somewhere to live with a baby and no other income. Day care centres and government subsidised childcare are a modern invention. A woman would have had to leave her child with relatives and friends or pay somebody she knew to look after them while she was at work.

Note also the small article printed on page 3 about the organisation ‘Birthright’ which was trying to establish a branch in Tea Tree Gully to assist widows and their children. Living on a widow’s pension was not easy either.

Most sole parent families still live on low incomes and those on Centrelink payments face a high risk of poverty. “Unemployment among sole parents is generally about twice the rate across the whole workforce. The reasons for this include their responsibility for caring for a child alone, together with low educational qualifications and the need to live in areas where rents are low but jobs are scarce (such as public housing estates). Many of those who do have a job are vulnerable to unemployment because they work in casual and part time jobs.” Fact sheet: sole parent payments




Way back when, Wednesdays

Girl with a guitar

Some of our readers may remember watching Franci Chamings on the  Adelaide show for children called Young 7.   Young 7 screened at 9am on ADS Channel 7 in the mornings during the 1970s.

Franci Chamings edit symon


In the edition dated 17 November 1971, the North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper reported on a local girl from Dernancourt who had been singing on Adelaide television. As stated in the article, Franci performed on the children’s program The Super Duper Flying Fun Show and The Tonight Show hosted by radio identity and former footballer Barry Ion.

After gaining a following on a children’s television show, Singer/songwriter Franci also performed live on stage such as at her Family with Franci Chamings concert in 1975.

Franci did go on to make recordings. She recorded the 45rpm single For You (B side: Why) with Pussycat Records, Australia.

In 1976 she made the vinyl LP album for young children entitled Favourite Nursery Rhymes and Actions Songs at Slater Sound in Adelaide. The album featured a collection of traditional children’s rhymes. Maybe you have it in your childhood record collection!  http://www.45cat.com/record/nc168385au

Favourite nursery rhymes

Image taken from:  http://www.tvmem.com/OZST/tv/D/DUDLEYDO/DUDLEYDO.html



Sammy the Seagull

Sammy the Seagull also appeared on Young 7.  He is pictured here with young Gavin Swindler and Suzanne Fox at Christies Beach.  Photograph B 70869/14138.  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+70869/1413




Recipe: Pumpkin, Haloumi, & Chickpea Fritters


Meatless Mondays just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to these easy, healthy (but more importantly) tasty Pumpkin, Haloumi, & Chickpea fritters! The cafe here at the Library, Bake & Brew, were kind enough to give us their recipe to share with you all. Happy cooking!



1/4 Pumpkin, grated

200g Haloumi, grated

1/2 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup self-raising flour



1: Combine pumpkin, haloumi, chickpeas, flour, and egg in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper if you like.

2: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

3: In batches of 3, spoon a heaped tablespoon of pumpkin mixture into the pan. Flatten slightly with a spatula. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side, until golden.

4: Serve with garden salad and capsicum mayo*, and drizzle patties with balsamic vinegar if you like.

*Capsicum mayo is a mix of capsicum puree and mayonnaise: you can buy capsicum puree and mayonnaise from groceries, or you can make them yourself.

Gully Arts Show: First and Second Prizes

It’s that time of year, again: when the Library walls get a little bit more colourful, and we host beautiful and unique artwork from artists across South Australia. The Gully Arts Show always attracts great crowds, and it’s proof that art can bring a community together! The Gully Arts Show is run by the Lions Club of Tea Tree Gully, and we appreciate all of their effort and support.

If you were unable to view the artwork in person, or if you would just like another look at the cream of the crop, here is a list of the first prize and second prize winners for each category, and pictures of their art:

Paintings A:

First Prize: “Forty Niner” by Gerhard Ritter (below)

Forty Niner Gerhard Ritter

Second Place: “Under the Canopy” by Pauline Miller (below)

Under the Canopy Pauline Miller.JPG


Paintings B:

First Prize: “Reflections at the Pines” by Alan Ramachandran (below)

Reflections at the Pines Alan Ramachandran

Second Place: “Red Panda” by Glenda Parker (below)

Red Panda Glenda Parker


Ceramics A:

First Prize: “Mood Indicator” by Belinda Martin (below)

Mood Indicator Belinda Martin

Mood Indicator Belinda Martin 2Second Place: “Evening Bath” by Gerhard Ritter (below)

Evening Bath Gerhard Ritter


Ceramics B:

First Prize: “Hidden Treasures” by Joe Dennis (below)

Hidden Treasures Joe Dennis

Second Place: “Blue Bowl” by Anita Taylor (below)

Blue Bowl Anita TaylorBlue Bowl Anita Taylor 2


First Prize: “An Asian Experience: 1” by Kay Pope (below)

An Asian Experience 1 Kay Pope.JPG

Second Place: “Delightful Poppies” by Betty Hermel (below)

Delightful Poppies Betty Hermel