Stamp

 

Postcards from 100 years ago

 

 

Coogee

 

The name 'Coogee' (pronounced as "coo gee") seems to have been derived from an Aboriginal word which means "bad smell". This would be of course due to the decaying seaweed which is washed up onto the beach - even in these modern times.  

 

150 Coogee Beach

The original track which brought people to the Coogee Beach area back in 1832 would have followed the basic route nowadays taken by Anzac Parade and Alison Road.  

 

In July 1838, the village of Coogee was gazetted with many of the streets in the district named after sea creatures. Today Dolphin , Neptune, and Bream Streets still remain whilst it is probable that Coogee Bay Road and Arcadia Streets were later renamed from their original "Whale St" and "Fish St".   

 

In 1902, Randwick council first allowed unrestricted surf bathing, provided knee to neck bathing suits were worn by anyone over the age of five.  The suitability of "loitering"  (sunbathing) was being debated and was eventually banned in 1910 at the request of residents.  The Solicitor-General thought otherwise and refused to pass the ordinance.   As surf bathing became more popular, so did the area gain fame and in 1907 the Coogee Surf Lifesaving Club was formed, this was one year after a heroic rescue at Bondi was the catalyst for the first surf life saving club in Australia in 1906 

 

In 1929, after much publicity, the shark net was opened and swimmers paid one penny for the security of swimming in an enclosure. 

 

The Pier

163 the Coogee pierA dream of a seaside pier similar to those "at home" in England encourage the formation of a company in 1924, to construct a pier that would reach over 180 metres into the sea and hold an entertainment venue with a 1,400 seat theatre,  a ballroom with the capacity of 600 patrons and  a 400 seat restaurant together with the necessary shops and facilities to satisfy the patrons.   1928 the amusement pier was opened but its life was destined to be a very short one.  As predicted by all except for the promoters, the Australian surf removed part of the structure in 1933-34.  The balance of the pier was removed in 1945. 

Coogee Palace Aquarium

385 Coogee beach and acquarium in background

The Coogee Aquarium and Swimming Baths were officially opened on 23 December 1887, it covered a block of land bordered by Arden Street, Beach Street, Bream Street and Dolphin Street. The Palace included an indoor Swimming pool (25 x 10 meters), an aquarium featuring the tiger shark from the famous shark arm murder case, a Great Hall that could be used as a roller skating rink, Canadian toboggan ran down the hillside for over 70 meters, a herd of 14 donkeys to ride as well as swings, whirligig's rocking horses, toy boats, aviaries, flower beds, bandstand and an open air bar.

153 Coogee Beach

150 Coogee now

417 Coogee Beach - Sunday crush

418 Coogee Beach

 

365 Coogee

365 Coogee

 

 198 Coogee Bay

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