This page was last updated on 17/07/01.
"Back to Woomera." 50th Birthday Reunion Celebrations.
28-31 March 1997. The Woomera Board coordinated a successful gathering of ex-Woomera residents to the unique outback South Australian town created in 1947 for rocket and missile testing. The occasion was the town's 50th birthday. The organisers promised a weekend crammed full of activities and events including displays and technical area tours. The weekend would also be a time for renewal of old friendships, reminiscing and story telling. Events which had been organised began with the collecting of a visitors pass at the old guard gate. When my family lived in Woomera, it was a closed town accessible only through the guard gate where an official pass had to be presented. The road to Woomera now bypasses the old guard gate which has been converted to an opal showroom. The queues to collect passes were long on Friday and Saturday. Many friendships were renewed here waiting in line. Early on Saturday was the Welcome Back Ceremony which included the unveiling of a Blackstone motor at the Information Bay.
Immediately following the talk by the Area Administrator and the unveiling, was the town parade. Led by the Kindergarten children who were followed after a short head start by a services cadet band and Australian and American soldiers, the parade was representative of Woomera residents, clubs and services. For many of the onlookers, the school kids dressed as rockets stole the show.
There was a school reunion in the old high school, complete with photographic displays and old yearbooks. In the grounds were crafts, souvenir stalls and food and drinks. Woomera's 5rrr fm music station was broadcasting from a van. The Army's Red beret parachute team landed on the school oval, two times during the day on Saturday and three times at other locations on Sunday. The precision with which the men landed had everyone gasping. A very high degree of skill was demonstrated, especially when the men landed amongst the crowds in a very confined space at Breen Park on Sunday during the picnic. Perhaps the smell of the barbecued sausages spurred them on.
RAAF Roulettes and Model Rockets. Back to Woomera page. Site Index.