The Chevron, Surfers Paradise

Donated by Julia Duffy

In the late 1950s, Surfers Paradise was coming into its own. Movie stars such as Laurence Olivier and Audrey Hepburn had visited in the late 1940s, putting it on the map for the jet-setting rich and famous.

So, my parents, Pauline and Allan, decided to go there from Sydney for a holiday, without the kids. We must have been looked after by my Dad's aunt, and I have a vague memory of them coming home with 'his and hers' beach towels with 'Surfers Paradise' embroidered across them.

But for me, Mum's cup and saucer set is the far superior and definitely longer lasting souvenir, boasting a picture of their glamourous destination – the Chevron Hotel, Surfers Paradise.

Wikipedia tells us that in 1958, the first and second accommodation wings of the Chevron opened. This was followed in the early 1960s by the main block, which included a 24-lane bowling alley underneath, and a large convention centre – the Corroborree Room. In 1987, most of the Chevron was demolished and in the early 2000s, the Chevron Renaissance was built at the same address.

So Pauline's cup and saucer set now has the status of an historical artefact. She would be pleased – especially to think that it will be on display at the State Library. Apart from being a sun seeker, she was also a great reader and believed strongly in government funding for the arts.

I don't remember that she was actually a big tea drinker – but maybe that's just as well – otherwise it mightn't have survived for half a century.