Way back when, Wednesdays

A stylish new school for the modern era

Did you attend Modbury High School? The North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper reported on the prospective success of the new Modbury High School on the front page of the edition dated 8 April 1965. This was only the second issue of the North East Leader which had commenced publication on 1 April.

New Modbury High School

Image:  Page 1, North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper, 8 April 1965

Modbury High School opened on 9 February 1965 at 62 Pompoota Road, Modbury. Much had changed since Robert Symon Kelly had encouraged the development of and named the little village of Modbury on his farming land in 1857/1858 (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 202-203).  Modbury and it’s adjoining suburbs had grown with sub-divisions opening up for housing. Since 1958 many young couples and families (including immigrants, many from the United Kingdom and Ireland) had moved into the area and by 1965 there a need for a local high school. In 1959 the population of the District of Tea Tree Gully numbered 2,672 living in 765 houses. By 1965 the number of residents had increased to 20,071 people and there were 4,820 dwellings! (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 339-334).

Modbury High School opened on 9 February 1965 at 62 Pompoota Road, Modbury. Much had changed since Robert Symon Kelly had encouraged the development of and named the little village of Modbury on his farming land in 1857/1858 (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 202-203). Modbury and it’s adjoining suburbs had grown with sub-divisions opening up for housing. Since 1958 many young couples and families (including immigrants, many from the United Kingdom and Ireland) had moved into the area and by 1965 there a need for a local high school. In 1959 the population of the District of Tea Tree Gully numbered 2,672 living in 765 houses. By 1965 the number of residents had increased to 20,071 people and there were 4,820 dwellings! (Auhl, Ian, 1976, Settlement to City A History of the District of Tea Tree Gully 1836-1976, 2nd ed. Adelaide: Griffin Press, pages 339-334).

The first principle appointed at Modbury High School was Mr A.G. Strawbridge who held this position until 1975. In 1965 seven teachers were appointed as there were only 99 students enrolled for their first year of high school (now year 8). It seemed that the school curriculum would also grow with its students as children would be able to progress to their second year of high school (now year 9) at Modbury in 1966.

Lessons were taught in what still is the main building at Modbury High School, an E-shaped structure with a façade featuring steel rimmed windows and stone crazy paving. At the time, this style of architecture in the mid-century modernist style was considered stylish and progressive. Modbury residents would have been proud to have such a state-of-the-art school built in their local area. This building picture above had twenty-four classrooms and could accommodate a maximum of 850 students. Students could study traditional disciplines of Mathematics, English, Science, French, Geography, as well as art and craft.

As stated in the article above, in 1965 only three classrooms were in use as well as other facilities such as science laboratories, an art room and a library.

Science class at Modbury High School

Image: Science class. Bottom of page 1, North East Leader a Messenger Newspaper, 8 April 1965

There were also rooms dedicated to the study of crafts and home economics – note the kitchen and laundry rooms were only girls would be taught how to run a household! It would be interesting to learn what activities boys pursued in the craft unit, possibly wood, leather or metalwork. In the following year, students would also be able to undertake office studies in a custom built commercial room.

At the time of this newspaper article, the Modbury primary school was temporarily sharing space and facilities with the high school in the main building.

The North East Leader also printed a photograph depicting local business the Savings Bank of South Australia donating books for Modbury High School’s library on page 2 of the edition dated 10 June 1965.

Books presented to new Modbury High School

Image:  Page 2, North East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper, 10 June 1965

By 1972 enrollments at Modbury High School had grown to a record number of 1383, so the school expanded out of the main building into transportable unit classrooms. By 1970 Modbury High was able to offer its first matriculation or Leaving Honours class to pupils (now year 12). In 2017 821 students enrolled at Modbury High School. The current principal School is Ms J. Costa (https://www.modburyhs.sa.edu.au/our-school/history).

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Way back when when, Wednesdays

Giving the people what they want

There would have been mayhem when a hoard of local shoppers attended the opening of the new Peoplestores retail outlet in the St. Agnes Shopping Centre in 1971. The North East Leader celebrated the event with several pages of photographs, articles and advertisements for the discount department store, in the edition dated 17 November 1971. Just in time for Christmas shopping.

Peoplestores St. Agnes Mall page 5

Image:  North East Leader, page 5, 17 November 1971

Peoplestores St. Agnes was the eighth store in the retail chain to open in South Australia. In 1971, Peoplestores also traded in Gouger Street in Adelaide City, Modbury (at Clovercrest shopping centre), Para Hills, Rosewater, Elizabeth, Findon and Reynella. There were also six stores in country South Australia.

Peoplestores article page 5

Image:  North East Leader, page 5, 17 November 1971

Ladies wear advertisement

Advertisement for Peoplestores women’s apparel.  Image:  North East Leader, page 9, 17 November 1971

manchester and men and boys clothing department photos with captions

Image:  North East Leader, page 10, 17 November 1971

Library staff who shopped at Peoplestores remember the department stores as being fairly basic, it was better than Kmart but not an upmarket shopping experience. It really was a shop ‘for the people’. Peoplestores was fitted out with large bins, through which you would rummage to find your size or chosen colour. This was possibly an attraction, as shoppers love a treasure hunt to find a bargain.

Peoplestores St. Agnes Interior

Peoplestores interior at St. Agnes with entry through the Mall.  Image:  North East Leader, page 5, 17 November 1971

One staff member recalls that Peoplestores always had lovely window displays. Another remembers shopping with her mother at Peoplestores, as they stocked a quality product. It reminded her of a country store with racks of garments on display, grouped around the shop floor. Peoplestores was especially good for buying wool for crochet, dress materials and habedashery such as buttons. They also bought little girl’s Red Robin socks! It sounds like Peoplestores did not move far from its origins as a drapery.

Fashions for the family

Image:  North East Leader, page 6,  17 November 1971

 

Peoplestores dress materials and crochet

Image:  North East Leader, page 6, 17 November 1971

In a sales cross-promotion, Peoplestores offered the same special prices on goods to shoppers at its Modbury stores as at the new St. Agnes branch. Plus free gifts for children.

Haberdashery with Judy

Image: North East Leader page 7, 17 November, 1971

Peopestores Key Man trousers

Advertisement for menswear at Peoplestores.  Image: North East Leader, page 6, 17 November 1971

Roland suit

Advertisement for womenswear.  Image:  North East Leader, page 6, 17 November 1971

Homewares and outdoor furniture advertisement

Advertisement for homewares, manchester and dress materials at Peoplestores.  Image:  North East Leader, page 11, 17 November 1971

Peoplestores drapery was founded by W.H. Williams in 1905. The cloth merchant was built in 1905 on the corner of Gouger and California Street South near the Adelaide Central Market. Peoplestores expanded several times on the same site in Gouger Street.

1708-a24a-5c46-80ae-5429abd7f376 Peoplestores in the early 1900s Gougher Street

Peoplestores Gouger Street in 1938. Image:  State Library of South Australia, https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+7416

In the past, people used to travel to the city centre to make special purchases as Adelaide did not yet have suburban shopping malls. Peoplestores on Gouger Street was also close to Moores, Adelaide’s iconic department store on Victoria Square. The former Moore’s building now houses the law courts and has been renamed the Sir Samuel Way Building.

In this photograph taken around 1939 the façade of the store has had a smart renovation in the Art Deco style, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.  The renovations included large plate glass windows and a wide cantilevered verandah (https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au).

Peoplestores Gouger Street

Peoplestores Gouger Street, circa 1939.  Image:  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+8175

B-37471.jpeg Peoplestores 1970s

Peoplestores Gouger Street in 1979.  The cars parked outside the building have certainly changed over the years!    Image:  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+37471

 

Peoplestores Grote Street entrance with cars 1954

Entrance on Grote Street Adelaide to the Gouger Street Peoplestores in 1954.  The Adelaide Central Market is to the right of the photograph.  Image:  https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+12989

The large store in Gouger Street was eventually redeveloped as part of the Adelaide Central Market. This building has now been demolished and is currently the site of several food outlets, including Krispy Kreme donuts.

During the 1980s Peoplestores ceased trading in South Australia, closing its last remaining stores.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

The stressless classroom for seniors

Albert Einstein once remarked that “Once you stop learning, you start dying” (http://www.basicknowledge101.com/subjects/educationquotes.html). There is also the proverb that you are never too old to learn. On page 10 of the edition dated Wednesday 18 February 1987, the Leader Messenger reported on the new Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age, where retired people could participate in a variety of courses for learning and recreation and share their knowledge and experience with others.

U3A

The Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) was established in 1987. 31 years later it is still thriving, with members meeting at 22 Golden Grove Road, Modbury North.

We speak of the Third Age as a time of active retirement. It follows the first age of childhood and formal education and the second age of working life. The Third Age precedes the fourth age of dependence (https://www.u3a.org.au/u3a_movement). The University of the Third Age is an international non-profit organisation which advocates that we should have access to life-long learning opportunities and the pursuit of knowledge, in a supportive environment where mutual learning and teaching flourish. So what feels like the end for retirees is often the beginning (https://www.goodmorningquote.com)

The British U3A embraced the philosophy on which the medieval university was founded: A fellowship of equals who met to share and extend knowledge. The British U3A embraces the principles of self-help and self-determination. Acknowledging that older people have accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and experience, members of each branch develop and structures their own programs, based on the strength and interests of their learning community.  Group members plan and develop a syllabus for each course that the offer and those with specialist experience teach on a voluntary basis. Other members assist in the administration of U3A. Each group is autonomous and manages itself.

Logo U3A 2

University of the Third Age logo

The Australian U3A is based on the British model. In 1984 the first Australian U3A opened in Melbourne. Universities of the Third Age in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Western Australia have established intrastate networks to support the different branches in each state with a range of resources (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_the_Third_Age).

If you would like more information about the Tea Tree Gully University of the Third Age log on to the website at: http://users.tpg.com.au/u3attg/index.html

TTG University Third Age

The Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age situated at 22 Golden Grove Road, Modbury North.

Members pay a membership fee when they enroll in their first course. They can experience the joy of learning for learning’s sake as there are no examinations or certificates to be obtained. No educational qualifications are required. Courses are designed to offer participants a range of educational, creative and leisure activities, with opportunities to socialise and enjoy yourself!

Now there is even a virtual branch of the University of the Third Age at https://www.u3aonline.org.au/  U3A Online is the world-first virtual University of the Third Age to deliver online learning via the Internet. U3A Online is especially suited to older people who may be geographically, physically or socially isolated. The website also provides links for older people to access useful information about different topics, such as news, maintaining good health and staying safe online.  You can also find your local branch of the U3A.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

South Australia’s local royalty

Would you like to be crowned Miss Home Laundry? Is this ultimate glorification of the mid-century domestic goddess or is it a sad reflection on the role of housewives in this era? It’s neither! On the cover of the edition dated 14 July 1971 The North-East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper recognised pretty Elizabeth Chapman’s impressive fundraising efforts. Representing Radio Rentals store at Tea Tree Plaza, her work assisted charities in South Australia, through a partnership between the appliance retailer and Telethon SA.

Miss Home Laundry

It appears that the title of Charity Queen, Miss Home Laundry was related to a sales promotion (probably for white goods), given the nature of Radio Rentals’ business.
Telethon SA is a non-profit organisation that endorses and supports ethical fundraising and it has been a leading sponsor of South Australian charities since 1960. Through support provided by South Australian businesses, Telethon assists charities with advertising and promotion and offers them opportunities to participate in various fully managed fundraising projects and events (https://www.telethon.com.au).

Telethon-SA-logo

During the 1960s and 1970s Telethon SA was renowned for holding fundraising appeals which were televised from the studios of NWS Channel Nine (hence the name Telethon). These annual appeal shows lasted several hours and they featured celebrities and television personalities. These entertainers performed for free and they asked viewers to donate money, by telephoning a number which appeared on the screen. The Telethon Appeal also showed people how their donations had helped others in the community.

1975 Telethon SA appeal 1975 Dean Davis, Humphrey Bear and Helen Woods

1975 Telethon SA Appeal with Helen Woods, Humphrey Bear and Dean Davis.  Photo:  http://www.adelaidenow.com.au

Telethon SA ran the high profile beauty pageant, the Miss Telethon Quest. In the newspaper photo above, Miss Sue Dolman, who was named Miss Telethon in 1971, has presented Elizabeth Chapman with her winner’s sash. The Miss Telethon Quest was not just about looks. The young women who entered would compete to raise funds. The entrant who raised the most money would be crowned as a charity queen; she did not have to win the overall competition. The winner of Miss Telethon would be expected to be a dedicated and hardworking ambassador for her organisation. Winning Miss Telethon could lead to other opportunities, such as in the entertainment industry or in public relations. Telethon also conducted charity auctions and the House of Hope competition.

Nowadays you probably would have heard of Telethon SA in relation to the annual Home & Land Lottery. Telethon SA describe the Lottery as the cornerstone of its fundraising activities as it has raised more than $28 million for SA charities since its inception in 1977 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-30/telethon-sa-rescued-after-closure-fears/8401562).

Humphrey Bear and builders at the 1984 Fairmont Pacific Telethon House in Redwood Park

Humphrey Bear and the builders at the 1984 Fairmont Pacific Telethon house in Redward Park. Photo:  http://www.adelaidenow.com.au

In February 2017 Telethon SA announced that it may have to close as it could no longer afford to hold the Home & Land Lottery in the current economic climate. The Lottery relied on the donation of a new house and land package by the residential building industry. The State Government land agency Renewal SA had withdrawn its offer of vacant land. So Telethon SA would have been forced to pay for an allotment.

Fortunately for the charities of South Australia, Renewal SA reversed its decision and made the commitment to donate a block of land for the Home & Land Lottery for a period of three years. Rivergum Homes also pledged its support of a house on the land for each of those three years, in conjunction with its South Australian residential building partners. The board of Telethon SA accepted the offers of free houses and land. The Telethon SA Rivergum Home and Land Lottery 2017 raised $1,027,290. Telethon SA continues its good work for our state.

(http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-30/telethon-sa-rescued-after-closure-fears/8401562)

(https://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/telethon-sa-saved-from-closure-after-surge-of-public-support/news-story/9c56f055175e1f0b4c869cc3ab8c5e3a)

Home and Land lottery

Advertisement for the The Telethon SA Rivergum Home and Land Lottery in 2017 Photo:  www.grow.org.au

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Way back when, Wednesdays

Suit up Seventies style

Cord suit

At first glance you might think that the clever lady in the photograph has recycled some bathmats and sewn herself a tailored outfit. This is certainly not the case. In the edition dated 14 July 1971, the North East Leader tells us that Mrs June Cooper is in fact, modelling a stylish suit made from jumbo cord. This photograph on page 19 was taken to promote the Witchery Boutique at Tea Tree Plaza. According to the North East Leader, it was a modish outfit that women would have wanted to wear in the early 1970s.

Corduroy fabric has been used in the manufacture of workwear since the 18th century in Britain and Europe. During the 20th century, factories in many other countries started produced clothing made from corduroy, often for the working classes. In the 1970s garments made from corduroy became incredibly popular. They were easy to launder, soft and warm in winter and affordable. Corduroy garments could also be dressed up or down. Both men and women could wear a corduroy suit to the office or wear the jacket or pants separately on weekends.

Corduroy jeans, jackets and skirts are still worn today. In the cooler weather, corduroy always seems to be a popular choice for jeans.

 

corduroy-fall-2017-2

Corduroy on the catwalk in 2017.  Image:  http://corduroy.in/corduroy-news/

 

If you are not familiar with corduroy, it is a durable cotton or cotton blend cloth, which is basically a ridged form of velvet. Corduroy comes in a multitude of colours and it can be plain or printed. Multiple cords are woven into the base fabric to form ridges or wales, which lie parallel to each other in clear lines. Sometimes you can see channels where the bare fabric between the cords is visible. Corduroy fabric with a standard or wide wale (jumbo cord) is used to upholster furniture, such as sofas, or it is made into trousers. Fabric with medium (midwale) narrow, and fine wale (such as pinwale or pincord) is used in the manufacture in garments worn above the waist. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corduroy (http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/fashion_costume_culture/Modern-World-Part-II-1961-1979/Corduroy.html).

 

Corduroy Fabric

Different wales of corduroy.  Image:  http://market-research-explore-report.blogspot.com/2018/02/world-corduroy-fabric-market-2018.html

 

The 1970s was revolutionary for women as it was the first time in history in which it was acceptable for women to wear what they wanted. Asian women had worn pants under tunics for many years. Now western women seemed to prefer wearing pants to dresses and skirts (https://www.retrowaste.com/1970s/fashion-in-the-1970s/1970s-fashion-for-women-girls/). Women wore pantsuits to the city, and some could wear them to the office. A trendy or elegant pantsuit was just the thing to wear out to dinner. As the 1970s progressed, pants for both men and women became low rise and firmer on the hips. Legs widened out and were sometimes cuffed. Eventually, flares came into fashion (http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1971fashions.html).

This issue of the North East Leader also featured an extensive sales promotion for the St. Agnes shopping centre. Take a look at this advertisement for Witchery which was printed on page 11 and the funky bohemian image that this brand was trying to sell. In the 1960s and 1970s Witchery opened retail outlets at many suburban locations such as at the St. Agnes and Ingle Farm shopping centres.

Witchery advertisement
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Pizza delivered, hot and fresh

Safe driving pizza delivery

In the first part of the 1980s, getting a pizza meant dining-in at a Pizza Hut restaurant or picking up a takeaway from your local Italian pizza bar. Everybody thought it was fantastic when you watched an American movie and somebody picked up the telephone to order pizza (usually pepperoni) and it was actually delivered to their door! In 1984 Dial-a-Dino’s commenced its revolutionary pizza home delivery service in Adelaide. On page 5 of the edition dated 25 February 1987, the Leader Messenger featured a story about Dial-a-Dino’s sending it’s young employees on a safe driving course.

Young driver training

Adelaide entrepreneur Richard Westcombe founded Dial-a-Dino’s. Pizza delivery proved to be a commercial success in Adelaide. It was easy to order over the telephone and people enjoyed the novelty value of experiencing a delivery. You would eagerly wait and look out the window to see the distinctive delivery vehicle arrive, a bright yellow Daihatsu with a large red illuminated telephone receiver on the roof. Dial-a-Dino’s expanded its business with outlets in five other Australian states. The company grew to operate 110 stores nationally with a fleet of 220 cars.

You can view old television advertisements for Dial-a-Dino on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com

You might also remember Pizza Haven. The Pizza Haven delivery service was also established in 1984. Financed by their parents, Adelaide brothers Evan, Louis, Bill and Gabriel Christou were opened the initial pizza outlet in Glenelg and established a franchise. Pizza Haven’s blue delivery cars featured an effigy of their mascot, the Pizza Parrot, on the roofs. Pizza Haven provided some competition for Dial-a-Dino’s. People would argue about which company made the better pizza. The Eagle Boys Pizza chain bought out Pizza Haven in July 2008.

In March 1989, Pizza Hut, which was part of PepsiCo Australia, bought out Dial-a-Dino’s and abolished its brand. Pizza delivery outlets were renamed Pizza Hutt Delivery. The advent of pizza delivery in Adelaide effectively put an end to the dine-in Pizza Hutt family restaurant. It was more convenient to eat at home. Pizza Hut became the leader in the pizza delivery market. However, strong competition arrived for Pizza Hut with the opening of Domino’s Pizza in Australia. Pizza Hut would buy out Eagle Boys in 2016 to try and increase its share of the market.

Now pizza eaters are spoilt for choice, with the advent of restaurant delivery services such as Menulog and Uber Eats. Many small pizza restaurants have entered the online environment by entering into partnership with these companies.

1a3d7659c53f2e53b2968dc6dfcd8bcd pizza

Image: Herald Sun

Despite the promotional image above, Dial-a-Dino’s delivery drivers were quite young. In South Australia the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 made it illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of age, which included discrimination in employment (http://www.hebtechstaging.com/resources/discrimination-laws/south-australian-laws). So it is disappointing that this article states that Dial-a-Dino’s drivers were all aged between 16-18 years of age, a statistic that reflects poorly on this company.

The speed limit has also changed in South Australia since 1987. The default speed limit in urban areas in South Australia was reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h on 1 March 2003 (casr.adelaide.edu.au/publications/researchreports/CASR005.pdf).

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Way back when, Wednesdays

A window on the heavens

How many of us have gazed up at the night sky and dreamed? If only you could see the rings of Saturn and the storms on Jupiter. Did you know that you can get a closer look at the celestial bodies right here in the City of Tea Tree Gully? On page 9 of the edition dated 23 August 1989, the Leader Messenger reported on the upcoming opening of a local observatory with a powerful telescope. The observatory had been constructed at the Heights School campus on Brunel Drive, Modbury Heights.

Heights observatory

The Heights Observatory is a joint facility operated by The Heights School and the Astronomical Society of South Australia. It was established with the aims of providing students with practical experience in astronomy and also to promote astronomy to the general public (http://www.adelaideobservatory.org/history.html).

An observatory had been built on the grounds of The Norwood Boys Technical School (now Marryatville High School) which was offically opened in 1964, but by the 1980s the  building in which it was housed had started to deteriorate. (http://www.marryatvillehs.sa.edu.au/_r24/media/system/attrib/file/14/MARRYATVILLE_History_new%20format.pdf

Parents and students at the Heights were keen to provide a location for a new observatory, raising funds for the telescope’s relocation. Science teacher Emanuel Papaelia, who is pictured in the Messenger article, was instrumental in getting the traditional domed observatory built on the school grounds. In recognition of the great amount of work that Papaelia put into the project, the observatory was named after him.

The Papaelia domed observatory was mainly built by the parents of students. As stated in the newspaper article, local businesses and industry organisations donated materials and assisted with its construction.

Since the time of this article’s publication, there have been upgrades to the observatory. In 1996/1997 another building with a roll off roof was constructed near the dome to accomodate a second telescope and a classroom for students. The ‘Ingham Family Rooms’ were named in honour of the dedication contribution by members of the Ingham family.

1280px-Theheightsobservatory

From left:  The Ingham Family Rooms and the domed Papaelia observatory

Once a month you can attend a public viewing night run by the Astronomical Society of South Australia at the Heights Observatory, for a reasonable entrance fee. Knowledgeable, dedicated current and former students from The Heights School’s Star Group also conduct the education and viewing sessions.

For those who are technically minded and know their telescopes, the Papaelia Observatory houses a 14-inch f/10 Meade LX200 GPS ACF Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. The Ingham Family Room observatory contains a scientific quality 12.5inch Ritchey-Chrétien Cassegrain telescope on a Losmandy HGM 200 mount. You can also experience using portable telescopes as well as a selection of other astronomical equipment on the viewing nights.

The next Heights Public Viewing Night will be held on Friday 18 May, providing the weather is good. Bookings are essential.

Find out more at:

https://www.assa.org.au/facilities/theheights/

http://www.adelaideobservatory.org/

https://www.weekendnotes.com/heights-observatory-astronomical-society-south-australia/

 
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