Monday, November 29, 2010

recollections of Katoomba: Pacific Paradise

* a collection of stories and memories, in no particular order, from the life and times of John Clarke, who served as a policeman in the Australian Police Force, a great practical joker, he also had a great affinity with people and wildlife, was a champion swimmer, snooker player, loved golf, still loves fishing and is also an artist. I hope you enjoy his recollections - cheers, karin (his daughter)

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  • Whilst at Katoomba, we went on two holidays.  When I was 'round 9 I reckon, we went and stayed with Norman and Laurie Carter and their daughter Susan in a holiday house at Newport Beach, Sydney.  The house was right on the beach - long gone now and it had a bookcase with really old book and buffalo horns up on the wall - I just loved it and remember going to sleep listening to the surf and beachcombing and going 'round the rocks at low tide.  I remember playing with blue-ringed occies (octupus) there, long before anyone knew they were poisonous.  I think that is where my great love of the sea and fish began.

  • Our second holiday was to 'Pacific Paradise' - a holiday camp near Norah Head, north of The Entrance.  Mum was hysterical when we arrived on the train from Katoomba, as what we stayed in was a wooden frame covered with canvas and hessian.  I just had the most wonderful time beachcombing and fishing.  We were right on the beach and there was a Kiosk where you could get rods and reels for beach fishing.  Alvey side casters and big long cane rods.  Dad and I got out the rods and reels and went to fish the surf.  We didn't have a clue that to caste, you had to turn the reel sideways and after a few attempts at casting we gave it up and just had the baits (pippies) washing around our feet pretending to fish (all the other fishermen along the beach were casting out great distances).   Anyhow, this hug bream came up and grabbed Dad's pippy right at his feet and he hauled it out with great excitement.  I remember it was a huge bream!
  • I used to go prospecting around the rocks on my own every day and remember this bloke went in snorkelling and was pulling out these huge crays.  One day a big wave knocked me over and washed me in and I had to swim round to the beach to get out!
  • One night we were in bed and a big rat was running across the rafters.  Mum was not impressed.
  • While we were there, Dad and I both got really bad sunburn on our backs - blisters - and Dad was really in a bad mess.  There was no electricity and we used kerosene lamps for lighting and a  methylated spirits primus stove for cooking.
  • I have been back there to try and find the site of Pacific Paradise, but could never find it again. I just know it was north of Norah Head and within walking distance.
  • Pacific Paradise was advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald Newspaper (NSW 1842-1954) on Wed 13 November 1946  and again on Saturday 3 February 1951 on Page 23 (of 36) - taken from Australia Trove Digitised newpapers and more website   
1st advertisement 1946


accom 4 on ocean near lake bus soptlcsystem showers fishing (rock-beach lo"e)riding school all tradesmen Pamphletsphotos details BLIGH S 14a Martin Place

2nd advertisement 1951

CABINS Furnished accommodate four
Septic system Surf, fishing prawnIng tennis rod and reel prawn nets inelusive Store Enjoy a pleasant holidayFor pomphlet Trustee Paclflo Paradise
Noraville via YVyong     (would be Wyong)     

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