Childhood memories of camping at Diamond Head

Boxing Day 1967 at Diamond Head with Murray and Nita Cowan, Mrs Bird (Connie Bone), Mrs Jones (May Bird) and Marge Cowan sharing a beach umbrella. Photo supplied: Nita Pont.

Boxing Day 1967 at Diamond Head with Murray and Nita Cowan, Mrs Bird (Connie Bone), Mrs Jones (May Bird) and Marge Cowan sharing a beach umbrella. Photo supplied: Nita Pont.

Nita Pont (nee Cowan) says she holds fond memories of visiting Diamond Head with her family when she was a child.

Nita grew up in Hannam Vale and is now aged in her 60s.

For many years Nita’s family would travel to Diamond Head on Boxing Day, continuing a family tradition established when her mother was growing up at John’s River.

In 1967 Nita’s sister Carolyn received a camera for Christmas and spent Boxing Day making memories through capturing their fun times.

“We had a great time swimming, building sandcastles, checking out ‘the gap’ and doing the headland walk,” Nita said.

Fifty years ago Diamond Head was very different to what it is like today.

“There was no formal camping ground at the time,” Nita said.

The Gap at Diamond Head, Boxing Day 1967. Photo supplied: Nita Pont.

The Gap at Diamond Head, Boxing Day 1967. Photo supplied: Nita Pont.

On one occasion the family camped in a caravan at Diamond Head for a couple of days with three of their six children.

Although the children had fun, it was difficult for Nita’s mother as there was no stored fresh water, electricity or toilets.

It was still a very popular destination with people who came from John River, Stewarts River, Moorland, Hannam Vale and Coopernook.

“A lot of people were attracted to the area’s natural beauty,” Nita said.

Nita said the road to Diamond Head has always been an adventure to navigate for motorists.

“I remember there were always lots of pot holes and it was very dusty,” she said.

The Gap at Diamond Head, Boxing Day 1967. Photo supplied: Nita Pont.

The Gap at Diamond Head, Boxing Day 1967. Photo supplied: Nita Pont.

Through her own research, Nita has discovered some interesting accounts from people who visited the area in the early 1900s.

Mary Slyney wrote a letter, published in the Catholic Press newspaper in 1906, which labelled Diamond Head as a ‘favourite picnic spot during the Christmas holidays’.

“This is a splendid place for bathing without danger of sharks,” she said.

“A little further around you come to a stretch of sand some miles in length.

“Here you will find the cowboys mounted on their ponies, racing for bridles, whips and spurs.”

What else is making news?

Comments