The 10 names Rockhampton just can't give up
THEY are the location names we just can't forget or let go. The labels, nicknames, monikers for places that just stick or are too convenient to drop.
Here are a few to start with and maybe you can add a few locations to this list.
1. SHOPPING FAIR: The name for what is now Stockland Rockhampton changed from Shopping Fair more than a decade ago (2004), but old habits die hard when it comes to locals referring to the region's largest and ever-expanding shopping centre. Many of us would remember when it was just Kmart Plaza and one of the best places with air-conditioning to escape Rocky's brutal summer heat.
2. THE MALL: The East Street Mall in Rockhampton's CBD was removed in the early 2000s after it was built in the 1980s, but The Mall is still how many people describe the CBD precinct. Some people may recall The Mall as the $8 million planning mistake the city felt compelled to make after City Centre Plaza and Kmart shopping centres began to dominate the retail trade in the city.
3. DINOSAUR PARK: The dinosaur has long gone but the name for the skate park at Huish Drive, Rockhampton still remains solid for many locals. It's correct name appears to be the Alf Kele Memorial Park.
4. IWASAKI'S: No matter what they called it (Rydges, Mercure, Capricorn Resort) Iwasaki's was the name that most locals stuck to when referring to the popular holiday resort built in the 1970s by the Japanese businessman man north of Yeppoon. Now that it's closed and awaiting redevelopment, the Iwasaki name is correct once more.
5. NEW BRIDGE: The Neville Hewitt Bridge was built in the late 1970s, but it's still the New Bridge for the majority. It was named after a respected politician who retired to live in Wandal. He passed away in 2016 aged 96. The National Party stalwart was respected by all Queensland politicians and the people he represented in the seats of Mackenzie and Auburn. Mr Hewitt was also a war hero, having served with the Royal Australian Air Force in the Second World War and survived six days lost in the desert.
6. THE OLD BRIDGE: The Fitzroy Bridge in Rockhampton opened in 1952 to great fanfare, replacing the original Fitzroy Bridge built in 1881, and carries the Old Bridge name as an easy landmark distinction away from the nearby New Bridge. The original stonework footings for the older bridge are still in place beside the current structure. In attendance at the 1952 opening were about 60 people who also went to the 1881 opening.
7. THE CAPRICORN COUNTRY CLUB: A recent addition to the list. The country club, where World Number One Jason Day learnt his craft as an outstanding junior player in the 2000s, is now the North Rockhampton Golf Club. The club is thriving thanks to strong volunteer efforts by club members following a rough patch after the 2011 flood. One of the reasons behind the change was to stop confusion with the Capricorn Resort with wrong mail and visitors turning up only to be redirected, not to mention the phone calls.
8. ROCKHAMPTON BASE HOSPITAL: Not sure about the history around this one as it has been referred to as Rockhampton Base Hospital or The Base for decades. The correct name is Rockhampton Hospital. However, Rocky Base Hospital endures particularly amongst emergency services, medical professionals and associated providers.
9. GRACEMERE SALEYARDS: The Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX) formerly known as the "Gracemere Saleyards" commenced operations in January 1953. The saleyard is situated 8km west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway leading to the Central Highlands and the Central western centres of Barcaldine, Blackall, Longreach and Winton. CQLX ranks as one of the major selling centre's in Australia and is regarded as one of the best stud selling facilities in the country but for some in the industry the Gracemere Saleyards is still the name of choice.
10. SILLY SOLLY'S: Even though the Silly Solly's brand officially disappeared almost 20 years ago after the chain was sold, the name endured in this region. No matter what the name changed to, many people still refer to discount stores as "Solly's". Now the brand is making a huge comeback with a nothing over $5" guarantee with rapid expansion across the state.