Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Christmas Snapshot: 1992

Next Monday, we will celebrate Christmas. As customary here, we will head back a generation to see how Sydneysiders marked this special time of the year 25 years ago.

Australia was still reeling from the effects of the recession "we had to have". The economy was growing again, yet people were still losing their jobs as unemployment reached 11%.

Belts were still being tightened.

There was still plenty of Christmas Cheer.

On November 15, Grace Bros held its Christmas Pageant. No one knew that this would be the final one. I remember watching it on Channel nine at home. The turnout was massive. Grace Bros claimed 500 000 attended while one source reported only 10 000 attendees. As The Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 16, there were "alot of children" lining the 2.1km route. An estimated 5000 followed Santa inside Grace Bros City Store. They even published a photo of people sitting on the roof of one of the entrances to Town Hall Station.

Christmas Specials

I love sharing them each year. This year I've covered different types of products.


Woolworths had plenty on offer:

And extended trading hours during the week.

December 1992 daily telegraph 0006 (2)
December 1992 daily telegraph 0005 (2)

Grace Bros

  Grace Bros Ad November 22 1992 sunday telegraph 18

Lots of great toys on offer (including computers).

Grace Bros Ad November 29 1992 sunday telegraph Grace Bros Ad November 29 1992 sunday telegraph 22


Big W

Pauls Warehouse

Angus & Robertson (Hurstville)

For the first time this year, I'll add TV schedules because they make great comparisons.

One program on Christmas Eve that hasn't changed has been Carols by Candlelight (Nine Network), except in recent years it has been moved forward by an hour. Ray Martin was the host.

And there were some Christmas Specials during the day on Christmas Eve. A highlights package of John Martin's Christmas Pageant (Adelaide) would entertain those on Channel Seven. Note that it was held in November. This is no longer screened in Sydney each year.

December 1992 daily telegraph 0044

Christmas Day

December 1992 daily telegraph 0045
Carols in the Domain was staged on December 19 attracting approximately 100 000 people to The Domain. It was their 10th annual concert, hosted by Barry Crocker & Jackie Love.

Source: Wilkins, M. 1992. "Carols by candlelight bring joy to thousands". The Sunday Telegraph, December 20 11.

For those who could not make it to the city, had the option of Carols by Candlelight at Parramatta Stadium on December 20, featuring Julie Anthony and an all-star team of John Williamson, Kamhal, Gina Jeffreys and The Deltones. 

Source: St George. 1992. "Carols by Candlelight: Stars Over Parramatta: Sunday 20 December" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, December 19: 13. 

The Daily Telegraph Mirror on December 24, looked at how some were planning to spend the day.

In the same edition (Late Final), it also reported on the Christmas rush at the Sydney Fish Markets at Pyrmont.

Source: Anon. 1992. "Shoppers jam fish markets". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, December 24: 2.

What services could you get over the holiday period? Find out below:

Below is some coverage of Christmas Day as reported in The Daily Telegraph on December 26.

The Sydney Morning Herald on December 26 reported on the annual gathering of backpackers and tourists at Bondi Beach.

Source: Signy, H. 1992. "The colonial Christmas: beach, brolly and beet". The Sydney Morning Herald, December 26: 2. 

This is only a snapshot of how Sydney marked Christmas in 1992. Everyone will have their own experiences and memories.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.