Wednesday, 21 September 2016

MILESTONE: Bankstown Square Opens (1966)


Source: Anonymous. 1966. "New trends set by $17m regional project". The Sydney Morning Herald, September 20, 20.

Today, Bankstown Central (formerly known as Bankstown Square) turns fifty. In 1966 there was alot of fanfare when its doors opened for the first time to shoppers. Back then, it had the title of biggest shopping centre in Australia, with more than 100 shops. It had seized the title from nearby Roselands, which itself  had opened just 12 months before.

The centre was officially opened by Lady Cutler (wife of NSW Governor Sir Roden Cutler) on September 21 1966. Lady Cutler Drive was named in her honour.

I'll keep it simple with a random assortment of clippings from The Torch which produced a special edition one day before its opening on September 20 1966

The first clipping is a two page spread documenting its construction, which occurred over a two year period.

Bankstown Square opens  Feature September 20 1966 The Torch (49)


Some photos of the opening on September 21 as published in The Torch on September 28 1966. 130 000 were reported to have attended the opening.

Bankstown Square September 28 1966 The Torch (12)


I have included an editorial from the September 21 1966 edition of The Torch which was opening day

Bankstown Square September   281966 The Torch0042 (2)

The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader published a map in its September 21 edition.

Bankstown Square Opening Ad September 22 1966 The Leader page unknown

Facts of interest:
  • Lend Lease were developers and construction costs were $17 million.
  • The original centre had around 130 shops, compared with the 250 today. 
  • Parking was available for 2500 cars. 
  • Major tenants included David Jones, Nock & Kirby's, Woolworths and BigW. Woolworths and BigW are still based in the centre while David Jones left in 2007 (now occupied by Myer). 
Below are some advertisements for some of the major retailers:

David Jones

Bankstown Square September 28 1966 The Torch (13)

Bankstown Square September   281966 The Torch0042 (3)

Woolworths

Bankstown Square September   281966 The Torch0042 (4)

Woolworths Variety

Bankstown Square opens  Feature September 20 1966 The Torch (18)

Palmers

Bankstown Square September   281966 The Torch0042 (1)

Nock & Kirbys

  Bankstown Square opens  Feature September 20 1966 The Torch (47)
BigW

Bankstown Square opens  Feature September 20 1966 The Torch (21)