I see that Pauline Hanson is in the news again. Firstly, I read that someone was contemplating making a film about her, and that, of all people, they are considering Cate Blanchett for the role. I suppose that the skill of acting is to make an audience think that the actor is someone that she's not, but still! I can't think of any two females more poles apart. I mentioned Diane Cilento previously, and I could see her playing Pauline Hanson.
Secondly, about a week after I read the first item about Ms Hanson, I read that she was about to announce that she would be campaigning for a seat in the State Parliament in the election that has just been called in Queensland. By the time you read this, she might be running. I hope that she is indeed running - far away! I am afraid I have no time for her xenophobic perspective on my country.
Anyway, here is a picture of the Woolloongabba Post Office, on the corner of Stanley and Hubert Streets, from the year 1906. How's that for a segue?
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #19335)
When I was in my first few years at primary school, we lived at Annerley, and visits to the Gabba were quite frequent. There were a couple of large department stores there, and the Gabba cricket ground was an attraction too. The first cricket match I can recall seeing there was a Queensland v NSW game that my mother took me to, because the charismatic Keith Miller was playing for NSW. Unfortunately Miller broke down with a sore knee and wasn't able to play on the day we were there. I'm not sure who was more disappointed - me or Mum!
Another great reason to go to the Gabba was to buy the world's best fish and chips: Jack's fish and chips shop, according to my father, made the best fish and chips in Brisbane, if not the world. I hadn't tasted too many others at that time, but I was happy to agree with him! The owner of that fish and chippery was Jack Seccombe, the father of Pauline Hanson.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)
The Gabba Post Office building still stands at 765 Stanley St (see picture above - click on it to see it in a larger size), and still does Australia Post business. The ornate emblem in the front wall says "Post & Telegraph Office", but I don't suppose there is too much telegraphing in these internet and email days. The Gabba is now quite different to my childhood memories - no fish and chip shop that I could see, and certainly no sign of Pauline Hanson. Thankfully.
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