Way back when, Wednesdays

Locals expose alien’s nocturnal reconnaissance flight

If extra-terrestrials decided to visit Australia where do you think they go? The nation’s capital perhaps? The outback? The City of Tea Tree Gully? In a scene reminiscent of a vintage science fiction film, the North East Leader reported on sightings of a mysterious saucer-shaped flying object, on page 4 of the edition dated 27 July, 1966. Was it an alien visitation or something else?

UFO 1966

The first ten-second sighting of the saucer shaped flying object was made by local resident Mr. L.G. Bradbook and his young son. Mr Bradbook alleged that at 8.30pm, in the week prior to the article’s publication, the UFO shot across the night sky in the vicinity of a reservoir (possibly now the wetland) At first sight, the UFO appeared to be very large but then diminished greatly in size when he saw it ascend and fly off over his car in a northerly direction. Miss Imelda Steinmueller, a young woman from Vista, also reported seeing a strange white object slowly flying high in the sky over North East Road, Tea Tree Gully at 7.15pm.

Enthusiasts from the Flying Saucer Research Society of Australia were soon on the scene to investigate – an impressive feat in the days before social media and news on demand. Vice President Colin Norris surmised that both Mr Bradbook and Miss Steinmueller could have seen the same object. There had been many sightings of UFOs near bodies of water, even near large water tanks. Colin Norris provides rather hazy information about how various bodies had been established to document these sightings, just that you could read reports through ‘official sources’. He suggests that extraterrestrials could be flying over the local area doing survey work, and while they were here, they needed to take on water for their own mysterious purposes. Some may remark that aliens may have been disappointed in the quality of Adelaide’s water in those days, should they have sampled the Murray River.

Note how the North East Leader did not interview anybody who could have offered another explanation for the flying objects. Nowadays the media would probably get also reports from the Bureau of Meterology and other scientific organisations, to investigate if the UFO might really be a weather balloon, a satellite in orbit or a piece of ‘space junk’ entering the Earth’s atmosphere before burning up.

The photo accompanying the article shows another mysterious round, flying object which was taken nearby in the Gilles Plains area in June 1965.

So how did our fascination with UFOs start? TIME magazine describes what is credited to be the first modern sighting of a UFO and the ‘flying saucer’ phenomenon. On 24 June, 1947, an amateur pilot named Kenneth Arnold saw a bright blue flash of light in the sky near Mt. Rainier in Washington State, U.S.A. He then saw nine more flashes of light in rapid succession. Arnold calculated the speed of these flying objects at over 1,200 mph, which was nearly twice the speed of sound; unheard of at a time when planes had not yet cracked the sound barrier.

Arnold compared the way the lights flew over the sky with somebody throwing a saucer over a body of water, which then skipped over the surface. A reporter for United Press misinterpreted what Watson had said, describing the lights in the sky as ‘saucer like’ unidentified flying objects and further reports called them flying saucers! Within a month, Americans had reported hundreds of sightings of flying saucers across the sky.

The obsession with spacecraft and extraterrestrial life forms intensified when a rancher from New Mexico reported finding what he thought was the crash site of a flying saucer near Roswell. There are reports that the Air Force initially supported the Rancher’s claim, then refuted it, saying the wreckage was the remains of a weather balloon. Let’s just say the rest is history but in 1994, the US Air Force declared that the wreckage was more likely to be one of a train of high-altitude balloons, carrying acoustical equipment to monitor Soviet nuclear testing at the beginning of the Cold War era (http://time.com/3930602/first-reported-ufo/).

It looks like our visitors may have returned. A local resident lodged a report more recently on the UFO Hunters website. On 9 January 2016, they spotted a pulsating, spherical object in the sky near the Tea Tree Gully area. You might enjoy reading about other possible alien encounters in South Australia in the ‘Curious Adelaide’ page of the ABC news website.   Maybe we are really not alone…

 
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Finnish librarian takes to the road

At the Tikkurila library, which is situated in the city of Vantaa in southern Finland, customers can sing along to pop tunes or to a selection of Finnish favorites in a custom built soundproofed karaoke booth.

The City of Tea Tree Gully may not have a karaoke booth but we can say that we have had a Finnish librarian employed here! On page 4 of the edition dated 25 November 1965 the North East Leader reported on the appointment of Miss Ulla-Maija Salonen to the City of Tea Tree Gully mobile library service.

IMG_0003 Finnish librarian

Image courtesy of the State Libary of South Australia, North East Leader, page 4, 25 November, 1965

As stated in the newspaper article above, Ulla-Maija Salonen was a highly educated and accomplished young woman. She was also multilingual. The District Council of Tea Tree Gully was fortunate to have her in its employ. Ulla-Maija Salonen was also the first female librarian to work for the Tea Tree Gully Library. Ms Salonen held the equivalent of a Master of Science degree from the University of Helsinki and she had taught science at schools in New South Wales and Finland. She had worked as a medical science technician. Ulla-Maija had also joined the department of Botany at Adelaide University, before taking over from the Mr. Keech, Tea Tree Gully’s first librarian.

The Minister of Education, Mr. R.R. Loveday, officially handed over the mobile library to the Chairman of the District Council of Tea Tree Gully on Saturday 12 June, 1965, in the vicinity of a community centre on Memorial Drive at Tea Tree Gully. The bus began servicing the local community on Tuesday 15 June.

Mobile public library 1965

Image:  North East Leader, page 1, 3 June, 1965

It was the second mobile library service to operate in South Australia, the City of Marion ran the first. The Library was actually a refurbished Department of Health vehicle which had formerly operated as a mobile x-ray unit!

The bus was a gift from the C.M.V. Foundation. Sidney Crawford established the C.M.V group in 1934 in South Australia, selling commercial vehicles to the transport industry. He set up the C.M.V. Group Foundation in 1953 to assist charities and those in need in the wider community. In total, the C.M.V. Foundation contributed 16,000 pounds towards establishing free public library services in the South Australian metropolitan area.

So where did all the books come from? The State Library of South Australia has provided this information about how public libraries were funded. In accordance with the Library (Subsidies) Act of 1955 and a 1958 amendment, the State Treasurer could subsidise local government to meet the costs of a establishing and running a public library, provided that the amount of funding did not exceed what Council spent in any financial year. A substantial amount of the books had to be of an educational or literary nature.  The Annual report of the Libraries Board of South Australia of 1964/65 states on page 11 that “The Libraries Board supplied initial bookstocks new libraries at Millicent, Enfield and Tea Tree Gully.” Councils such as Tea Tree Gully paid money to the Libraries Board to be supplied with books; the amount of which was subsidised by an equal amount from the South Australian State Government.

The Mobile Library’s initial book stock was valued at 5000 pounds, which was a substantial investment in 1965. And the Library was fully air-conditioned, a very modern feature. When it was introduced, the Library service would have 5000 books in its collection. The bus was to hold 2,500 volumes on the shelves (a considerable amount) with the remainder of the books placed in reserve in storage (Page 1, North East Leader, 3 June, 1965). A driver-assistant library was also employed.

People of all ages were able to use the Library for free if they lived in Tea Tree Gully and surrounding areas. This was of great benefit to residents as at this time there were still Institute based libraries in South Australia, where people had to pay a subscription fee to borrow books and use the reading room.

The Mobile Library stopped in many locations around the district, for the convenience of residents:  On streets, at local schools and post offices.

Mobile Library new itinerary

Image:  North East Leader, page 8, 24 March, 1966

In the edition dated 24 March 1966, the North East Leader reported on changes to the mobile service timetable on page 4. This was to accommodate the librarian going to lectures in the city. We can presume that at this time Ulla-Maija commenced her course for the Libraries Board Registration Certificate at the public library in the Adelaide city centre, as referred to in the article from November 1965.

Mobile library changes to to schedule

Note the amount of loans just for February: Members borrowed 1176 books for adults and 1,345 books for children! The new library was obviously very popular with younger readers.

For your interest, here is an article about new books which were purchased for the mobile library, printed on page 8 of the North East Leader from 28 April, 1966. It seems that historical romance was popular at the time.

Mobile library new books

As employment records are confidential, we do not know how long Ulla-Maija Salonen remained working for the Tea Tree Gully Council. However, by 1969 the North East Leader reported that Mr W. Bustelli  was employed in the Library’s new premises, in the former Modbury school house at 561 Montague Road, Modbury.

Perhaps Miss Salonen secured a better job or one which was closer to home in Alberton. If she had married and started a family in the 1960s, Ulla-Maija would also have had to leave the workforce. Or she could have returned to Finland.

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Way back when,Wednesdays

Our library enters the computer age

Library enters computer age

The North East Leader a Messenger Newspaper reported on the beginning of the information technology revolution at the City of Tea Tree Gully Library, on page 3 of the edition dated 15 June 1983. Computer technology had been installed which would benefit local residents and enable staff to store information about all of the books in the library.

Just like magic a librarian could wave a computer wand across a member’s credit card sized borrower’s permit (their library card) to reveal their identification number. The customer could then borrow when the wand was waved across a barcode on a book, as the computer would correlate and store this information electronically. Imagine that! Furthermore, the computer referencing system would allow library staff to easily see if books were on loan and to whom.

To put the wonder of all this change into perspective, it helps to know how people used to borrow books before the installation of computer technology.
Website Quora recalls how libraries used to operate (https://www.quora.com/How-did-old-library-systems-work-before-computer-catalogues)

Some readers might remember using the card catalogue at the library. Library staff would type or write out three or more cards for each book. The catalogue cards would detail information such as its title, author, date of publication, subject area, and the call number which indicated where it was shelved in the Library. Then librarians would file each of these cards in alphabetical order in separate drawers labelled title, author and subject area. Customers and staff would have to rifle through a long row of cards, to find out if the library actually held a book and to find out where they could locate it on the shelf. You didn’t want to lose your place either or the cards would fall back in order!

card-catalog what fun

Searhing through the Library’s card catalogue.  Image:  https://brockport175.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/card-catalogs-what-fun/

 

CR 123 Hand-typed card

An example of a typewritten library catalogue card for a novel.  Image:  http://tarletonlibrary.blogspot.com/2012/09/monteverde-friends-library-of-costa-rica.html

So what happened when you finally found the book you wanted to borrow and took it to the service desk?

The North East Leader article is correct when it reported that computers would allow library staff more time to assist customers with enquiries! Each library book used to have a card in a pocket stuck inside its cover. Library staff would remove the due date card from the book pocket then stamp it with the date the book was to be returned. They would record a patron’s name and library card number alongside the due date of the book. In some libraries members also had to sign the book out. Then the date card would be placed in sequence in a special holder.

ebae0ee36127733e8af0ae8a8ecc5547 Card in pocket

Image:  https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/126171227036239502/ card in pocket

Staff would either stamp piece of paper which was stuck inside the book or place a due date slip inside the book’s pocket, so that a customer could see when the book was due for return. Alternatively, librarians might spend ages stamping due date slips when it was quiet in the library.

170px-Library_date_due_slip

An example of a due date slip which would have been stuck inside a book’s cover.  Image:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_circulation

When somebody returned a book, a librarian would take the date card out of the holder and return it to the pocket in the back of the book. The book would then go onto a trolley for re-shelving, and the circulation process would begin again. At regular intervals a librarian would manually check the date cards to identify overdue books. They would look up the patron by name in the library’s membership records and send out a reminder notice.

Library Technology Officer Hayley was happy to discuss how library systems had changed at Tea Tree Gully Library since the time that this article appeared in the North East Leader. Here are some of the significant improvements for our customers:

Since our Library has embraced Radio-Frequency IDentification technology (RFID) Library staff no longer have to scan and read the barcode of each item to issue it to a customer. Items can now be borrowed and returned using RFID technology which sends a signal from the item to the computer.

Our customers no longer have to stand in long queues to borrow items as you can use our self-check machines at your leisure. RFID allows for multiple items to be processed at the same time which can be more convenient than scanning them one by one.

Notice also in the North East Leader article that the original computer screens had a dark background with coloured print. Nowadays the desktop where we search the library catalogue is visually enticing and much easier to read.

The One Card Library Network has transformed the public library service in this state. Through a shared computer network customers can access millions of items available throughout South Australian public libraries, not just at Tea Tree Gully Library.

The implementation of the One Card Network has also greatly reduced the time that library members have to wait when they reserve, or put an item on hold. Aside from new items, customers will generally be sent the first copy that becomes available, whether that be from your local library or as far away as Cooper Pedy!

With the introduction of the new Libraries SA App customers can save their card digitally and have it available on their mobile device. The app also allows customers to place holds, view checkouts and renew items.

Library staff and customers may not have believed that these changes were possible when this article went to print in 1983! And to quote the words of the late comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory “The only good thing about the good old days is that they’re gone.”

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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

Book drought makes history

The Tea Tree Gully Library service has always been popular! As featured in a previous Way back when, Wednesdays post the official opening of a new public library made front page news in the North East Leader, a Messenger newspaper, on 5 March 1969. The Library, which operated out of a mobile bus, had moved its service into the building which was formerly the Modbury Primary School and headmaster’s cottage, now designated as 561 Montague Road, Modbury. On page 3 of the edition dated 9 April 1969, the North East Leader reported on a possible book shortage after only one month, as the new library service had proved so popular with local residents.

Library fines

As stated in the Messenger article above, since the new library had opened, memberships had soared to over 4000 and nearly 10,000 books were on loan. Unfortunately many of the Library’s avid readers were not particularly conscientious when it came to returning their items and the Library’s book stock had become depleted.  Members had also failed to return 1,600 books which had been issued to them on the old mobile library.  When you think about it, for a building of its size, the Montague Road library actually had quite a substantial book stock.

The Librarian in charge, Mr. W. Bustelli thought that introducing a system of fines would motivate library members to return books on time. We don’t have information about whether library fine were introduced in 1969. We would love to hear about your experiences if you remember using the library on Montague Road!

Fortunately, in 2018 the City of Tea Tree Gully Library has considerably more items available for loan than in 1969. The Library holds 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 e-books 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.

 

Boca Chica bar

The old schoolhouse building at 561 Montague Road, Modbury is now the home of Sfera’s ‘Boca Chica’, a Spanish inspired concept restaurant and bar.

 
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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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