Hand tinted postcard of holiday crowds on the foreshore of Mooloolaba Beach, 1950s.
Image
Souvenirs

Visitors to the Sunshine Coast have collected many souvenirs over the years to remind them of their holiday.

Souvenirs are often linked to enjoyable experiences and discoveries made while holidaying.

They act as a captured memory to look back on long after holidaymakers have returned home.

For children, the “snow” dome provides a watery world with a familiar scene to conjure up happy memories, even if it was of a beach scene with flakes fluttering down.

Over the years, holidaymakers wanting to share their experiences purchased these small gifts for their family or work associates.

Postcards were regularly sent to family and friends describing recent holiday experiences and included chatty snapshots about places, people and events on their holiday.

The word souvenir is from the French, meaning remembrance or memory and from that meaning it is easy to see where the collecting craze began.

Local tourist attractions still sell a range of souvenirs often promoting their own image.

It could be a useful item like a mug, a cap or floppy hat, or perhaps coffee-table style books about the region.

Some of the most popular keepsakes include tea towels and key rings, as well as old favourites such as salt and pepper shakers, snow domes, hat pins and teaspoons.

Spoons etched with a town name were once a widespread craze, as people would collect a new spoon everywhere they visited.

Mass-produced merchandise like T-shirts, bookmarks, pencils and pencil sharpeners, bracelets, refrigerator magnets, ashtrays and even miniature figurines became popular during the 1950s and in later years as more people travelled by car to and from their holiday destination.

Other souvenirs that were made locally, included art work featuring local scenes and handicraft using natural objects like sand from the beach.

The increased availability of cameras during this time enabled the holiday maker to capture their own experiences and special moments more accurately and realistically.

The most collected souvenir is likely to be still photographs taken to document special events and places kept to jog the memory later.

Slides and movie nights became popular and many families would invite neighbours over to share their holiday memories when they returned home.

Movie cameras were quite expensive, so there are few family movies to view from the 1960s era.

The camera was often used sparingly and only for special occasions, as film and processing could be expensive and there was a limit to the number of images you could take on a roll of film.

Popular spots, such as the Caloundra lighthouse and other early tourist attractions and beach scenes, are favourite photographs found in many family albums.

Picture Sunshine Coast is a digitised pictorial database of more than 11,000 digital images of the local region for all to enjoy.

It is accessible online through the Sunshine Coast Council Heritage Website: heritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

These images from the past and present are pictorial souvenirs of people, places and events here on the Sunshine Coast.

During the holiday season, the beach photographer visited the main beaches and guest houses on the Sunshine Coast offering to take photographs of families and friends and gave out a business contact card.

People could then go and view their holiday image at his shop and if they liked what they saw they could purchase the photograph as a souvenir of their holiday.

Many of these lovely images are on the library database with permission from the donors.

Today’s smart phone technology enables you to capture an instant souvenir or memory of your trip and share it widely.

Many of the more mature generation could not have imagined this would be possible years ago.

So whether you take a quick snap on your phone and share it online, or buy a more traditional souvenir to take home as a memento, your special memories will be there to share as stories in the future.

The Coast in song

The song “I’ve Been Everywhere Man” was a pop hit in Australia during the early 1960s.

The lyrics were written by Australian country singer Jeff Mack in 1959 and made popular by Australian iconic singer Lucky Starr in 1962.

The song mentions visiting Mooloolaba, Nambour and Maroochydore and many other towns in Australia.

This Australian song has been adapted to many countries in the world with Lucky Starr doing a New Zealand version and country singer Hank Snow making a popular American version.