Way back when, Wednesdays

Adelaide’s famous duckling

TTP Children's show with Winky Dink

On page 16 of the edition dated 17 January 1973, in the section entitled Tea Tree Plaza News, The Leader Messenger promoted its forthcoming school holiday programs.  The caption accompanying the photograph stated that kids could see shows featuring celebrities such as Channel 9’s Hot Dog and Cheryl.  But who is that little bird sitting in a bucket, pictured in the centre of the photograph?  If you grew up in the 1970s or 1980s and watched Channel 9 after school, you will probably remember that small pink duck with fondness.

Winky Dink was a sweet-natured, happy young duck. The puppet was orginally operated and voiced by Roz Ramsay.  Later, children’s author Wendy performed this role.  Winky Dink appeared on the children’s live television show the Channel Niners, produced by NWS-9.  The show screened in the afternoon from Monday to Friday.

The Channel Niners started in the 1960s, initially hosted by former kindergarten teacher Denny Snowden.  In Adelaide, during the 1970s, the Channel Niners was hosted by Helen Woods and Dean Davis.   Readers may also remember Dean Davis as the co-host of the immensely popular children’s educational program The Curiosity Show!  Patsy Biscoe, Ian Fairweather and Humphrey B. Bear also appeared on the Channel Niners (Heading, Rex, Miracle on Tynte Street: The Channel Nine Story, 1996).

At one point the Channel Niners evolved into the Super Cartoon show.  The final presenters of the show were Joanna “Joey” Moore and “Robby” Robin Roenfeldt. Channel Niners was repackaged during the mid 1980s as C’mon Kids, screening from 1986 to 1990.

Winky often made references to the duckpond where he lived, looking down through the aperture in the desk. Winky Dink’s favourite treat was sugared worms.  I remember one episode of the Channel Niners in which a young viewer once sent Winky a small box of sugared worms.  The contents resembled Allen’s Snakes coated in sugar!

Pink Winky Dink

The fabulous Winky Dink

If you found Winky Dink to be too sweet or you just didn’t like his voice, the early days of the show also featured zany, rude Wilbur Worm. Wilbur would make funny, insulting remarks to Winky (by the standards of a children’s program) which their human comperes would have to counteract. However, Winky had pluck. Winky could hold his own and was usually ready with a quick reply to Wilbur’s jibes, creating a humourous interchange between the two characters.



From left:  Channel 9 children’s characters: Wilbur Worm, Humphrey B. Bear, Hot Dog and Winky Dink

Way back when, Wednesdays

Holiday fun with ‘Cubing’

Before the current system of having four terms during the school year was implemented, the long summer holiday break used to extend into February.   On Wednesday 3 February, 1982, the Leader Messenger pictured 9 year old Jarrod Young attempting to solve the Rubik cube puzzle, when he attended a school holiday program held at Tea Tree Plaza. This would have been a very popular event.


Anybody born into Generation X will remember the Rubik’s Cube! You just had to have one.  The objective of the Rubik’s Cube puzzle is to rotate the 26 brightly coloured smaller cubes that make up the larger structure, so that each face of the cube features a different uniform solid colour. Amazingly, there are more than three billion possible combinations to the puzzle.

Architect Ernő Rubik invented his Magic Cube in 1974 in communist Hungary. It was designed as an innovative way to teach his students at the Budapest Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts about 3D objects. Their positive reaction to his creation inspired Rubik to take out a patent.  In conjunction with a state-run company, Rubik began marketing the cube as a puzzle in Europe in 1977. When American company Ideal Toys negotiated with Rubik to produce and market the puzzle, it sold over 4 million cubes in 1980. Cheaper unlicenced copies such as the Wonderful Puzzler also appeared on the market. The Rubik’s Cube became a worldwide obsession and global cultural icon and made Professor Rubik a millionaire at age 36.  He also created spinoff puzzles from his original design such as Rubik’s Race and Rubik’s Revenge. The first international world championship was held in Budapest in 1982.


The New York Times reported that by June, 1981, the Ideal Toy Company had sold 30 million cubes, accounting for about 25 percent of their sales, which earned $216.8 million for the company. However, by 30 October 1982, sales of the Rubik’s Cube were in decline. New electronic video games were top sellers, as well as the Smurfs and merchandise associated with the movie E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial.   (Rubik’s Cube: A craze ends http://www.nytimes.com/1982/10/30/business/rubik-s-cube-a-craze-ends.html).





Deb’s ‘BIG THINGS’ road trip 2016

During the recent Easter school holidays, Library staff member Deb and her family set off on a road trip around Victoria with a mission: to see as many ‘big things’ as possible.

Decked out in their special ‘Big Things’ t-shirts, Deb’s family and three other families racked up thousands of miles to make it to 16 big Aussie icons.

Deb says: ‘Suffice to say with 8 kids and 8 adults in tow, our road trip was anything but boring!’


1. The Big Mallee Fowl at Patchewollock



2. Arnold the Big Murrary Cod at Swan Hill


3. The Big Strawberry at Koonoomoo


4. The Big Ned Kelly at Glenrowan


5. The Big Earthworm at Bass


6. The Big Cow at Newhaven


7. The Big Wave at Newhaven


8. The Big Tap at Cowes


9. The Big Koala #1 at Cowes


10. The Big Purse at Melbourne


11. The Big Chickens at Geelong


12. The Big Boomerang at Geelong


13. The Big Pheasant at Gumbuya Park


14. The Big Sphinx at Geelong


15. The Big Miner at Ballarat


16. Larry the Big Lobster at Kingston

Inspired by Deb’s trip? Read about more Aussie’Big Things’ in the library book The Little Book of Big Aussie Icons. Borrow it here

Summer Reading Club 2015-16 Wrap-Up

Well done to the 54 children who participated in the recent Summer Reading Club, held over the summer school holidays.

Tea Tree Gully Library received 70 logs and 46 reviews of books – and we are proud to say after totaling all of the figures, a grand total of 746 books were read.


This high number of books read is a credit to our young readers who live in the Tea Tree Gully area. Reading is incredibly important not just for education and comprehension, but also for developing communication skills, empathy, logic & reasoning and a greater ability to focus and concentration. If you need greater convincing, check out more reasons for why children should read here here and here.

Some of the children who read lots of books or submitted some stand-out book reviews were invited with their families to the Pegi Williams Bookshop in Walkerville to purchase new books for the children’s collection. They also received a Pegi Williams Book Shop voucher to buy a book for themselves. We had so much fun selecting new books together.

Look out for the new books on our shelves soon. And keep reading!

It’s school holidays!

There’s loads of Christmas decorating events, art/craft sessions, a kite building workshop, Lego Day, and a Harry Potter movie marathon in the mix. Don’t miss our pet-themed colouring-in competition either, you can win some prizes.

Find all these events + heaps more on our website.

Also check out what’s happening at Golden Grove Arts Centre, with their super cool SeaStar Rock event tomorrow! Original energetic fun music and dance for kids that promotes marine sustainability.


Safe Four Wheel Driving


Monday 9 November 6.30 – 7.30pm

Imagine sitting around a campfire, under a myriad of stars, away from the glaring lights of civilisation, in the company of family and good friends.

Four wheel driving can take you to some unique, amazing places off road that you just can’t access in an ordinary car, such as remote beaches, the outback and some fabulous fishing spots.

4WD poster photograph small

Joining a four wheel driving club is also an excellent way to find out how to properly operate your vehicle and learn about the regulations involved in four-wheel driving.  You get to meet and socialise with people with similar interests and go on trips. And driving is fun!

So whether you already own, or are considering buying a four-wheel drive vehicle to hit the open road, this session is definitely worth attending.

Greg Chase, vice president of 4WD Adventurers Club of SA, will speak about topics such as:  Different trip destinations, driver training, responsible 4WD activities, insurance, potential dangers and how to deal with them, such as how to recover your stranded vehicle.

You will also learn about the benefits of joining a 4WD club, what 4WD clubs do and how to choose and join one.

So why not come along and begin your adventure?  Book online or telephone the Library on 8397 7333.

When: Monday 9 November 6.30 – 7.30pm

Where:  Relaxed Reading Area, City of Tea Tree Gully Library

Cost:  Free.  Bookings are essential.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Dress up, show up and enjoy a lavish Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Tea Tree Gully Library on July 8

Calling all Mad Hatters, Alices and March Hares! Get your Cos-play on and join us on a trip down the rabbit hole for a tea party. It’s going to be mad, quirky and rather insane and will honour this year’s 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland.

Plus, you’ll be helping us raise funds for Oxfam’s Nepal relief. We’re hoping to hit our target of $300 so be generous and make a donation  https://my.oxfam.org.au/fundraiser/view/3303

When: Wednesday 8 July, 4-5.30pm
Open to young people 13-25.

Book online or phone 8397 7333

The Summer Reading Club

The Summer Reading Club is a national annual reading program designed to encourage kids to read over the summer school holidays in December and January.

This year the theme is ‘Adventure’. The program is divided into three levels with age appropriate activities for each group:

  • Preschool – children under 5 years;
  • Primary – children between 6-11 years;
  • Secondary – children 12+ years.

Summer Reading Club

The good news is anyone can register to enter! In December, pick up a Summer Reading Club form from Tea Tree Gully Library and use it to record all of the books you read over summer.

Those who read at least 10 books will be eligible to win a special prize pack, and other prizes including book shop vouchers and more.

Summer 2014-15: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Take some time out this summer to get moving with the Library’s summer event program: Planes, trains and automobiles. We’ll be holding lots of motion-themed events to cater for kids, families and all ages.

Planes, trains and automobiles

Summer’s here and the time is right to get moving! Planes, trains and automobiles!

Dads and their kids can work as a team to make their own tool boxes at the ‘Make a Tool Box workshop’ on 7 January, which will use donated materials from the Modbury Bunnings Warehouse.

Car lovers have the opportunity to build mini solar cars and race them after in a special workshop on 21 January. For those who appreciate Holden cars, Author Don Loffler is hosting a special presentation ‘Dramas with the arrival of the Holden Car in South Australia’ on Saturday February 7.

A Kite-Making Workshop will be held on 14 January, where participants will make their kites in the Library and fly them afterwards through Civic Park. The ‘Be Active’ Story Time is scheduled for 16 January, which is part of the SA Premier’s ‘Be Active’ Challenge to inspire kids and parents to get moving and do 60 minutes of physical activity on at least 5 days of the week.

The Summer Reading Challenge is also on again. Kids can sign up at the library for a reading form and be eligible to win prizes. A finale party for all participants will be held at the Library on 21 January. All party goers are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite book character and enjoy the free performance!

For more details, please check the Library News and Events page in December for times and booking information, or phone 8397 7333.