My Cairns friends, any left standing? Bill Manning’s pie-cart.

Much more on


Fifty year old Govt tourist promotion tape provided by Marc of Edmonton, used by Cairns Post.


My Cairns Friends…Bill Manning’s Pie-cart.

Theatre people; Hippies John Watson and Bryan Nason.

Cairns Little Theatre “Paint Your Wagon.

Full Programme, photos etc Paint Your Wagon.

Little Theatre 1964 in-house News-sheet. (squabbling)

Mime Adam Darius, Old Theatre Programmes.

When Pets And People Have Had Their Day.

Rosa In The Pot.


The Cairns Post ran a Tweet header that couldn’t be ignored and I swear it was directed at me, but contrary to previous occasions when my material was welcomed, the emotion wasn’t reciprocated. Being critical of the Cairns Post owner on Twitter has far-reaching consequences. By coincidence, am undergoing a personal Cairns revival of sorts having persisted with the craft of photo scanning and getting a recently recovered cache of youthful memories into my blog-site’s media library. The very last photo successfully transferred was of a forlorn East West DC3 on the Cairns tarmac that I was about to board for Weipa. A lone middle-aged couple, conservatively dressed in calf length overcoat ahead of me gave the overcast day a Casablanca feel. Fokker Friendships were replacing the trusty Gooney Bird and my flight was one of DC3s last, I understand.

Casablanca Cairns

Casablanca Cairns

The time was 1966, the year decimal currency was introduced, when a week or so after I arrived in Weipa, curious workmates would crowd around the latest arrival for a glimpse of the new currency. Thanks to Marc of Edmonton for keeping and to the Cairns Post for using the 1964 tourist promo tape. I was especially delighted and surprised when the brief grab of a Cairns Little Theatre rehearsal appeared. Showing the very competent director and popular Reg Stocker doing what he was wired for. Reg’s day job was with Adult Education.

Soon after the Cairns amateur production of Paint Your Wagon,(Oregon movie sites) the butch Lee Marvin made musicals an acceptable art form by starring in the Hollywood version. Marvin was a regular visitor to Cairns at marlin season, as was Australia’s radio and tv identity Pick A Box compere, Bob Dyer who brushed fame on me by asking for parking meter change.

On Saturdays, at Bill Smart’s Palace Hotel, shown in the video, the Little Theatre had a fund-raising event called a goose-club where ten or so business-donated items were raffled. I got to know Reg and his ticket selling crew and was gently press-ganged into the “Wagon” cast.

Around the corner on the kerbside outside the Impy (Imperial Hotel) Bill Manning’s pie-cart held sway. Bill advised me to acquire bakery equipment in bits and pieces, whenever I had a bit of spare, and irregardless the time it took, stack items where-ever, under the bed was one suggestion, and hold until ready to open a business. Our shared careers as pastry-cooks was the connection. The Cairns Post did a piece on an Edmonton pub a couple of years ago and used my little reminiscence of the time I worked at the nearby, now long gone Hambledon Sugar Mill.

With eight years or so to draw on, this might be an appropriate time to ease off for the time being.




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