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18 May 1969 Glenelg jetty

 18 May 1969   Glenelg jetty

On 18 May 1969 the new Glenelg jetty was officially opened by Mr Coumbe, the Minister of Marine and Harbors. It cost $128,500. An estimated crowd of 10,000 were at the opening in spite of the chilly, grey weather.

The first jetty was opened by the Governor, Sir Richard MacDonnell on 25 April 1859, some twenty years after one was first planned. Even then there were problems as the ship bringing the cast iron sections from England had to jettison them when the vessel ran aground off Brazil. Eventually construction began in 1857 and the jetty, 1200 feet long with 61 bays each 20 feet 6 inches x 18 feet, which cost £31,294, was completed two years later. From then on the jetty received the mail and some cargo from incoming ships. In 1873 a lighthouse was added to the end of the pier and, following the construction of the railway to the city, rail lines were run to the end of the jetty where a crane unloaded freight into rail trucks. But as Port Adelaide developed as the major port for South Australia, Glenelg's days as a port began to wane, however, it remained the premier seaside resort.

In 1876 a bathing jetty for men only was added north of the main pier. A separate ladies section was added in 1881. In 1907 a large kiosk was built at the end of the jetty, and in 1929 an Aquarium was built near the middle. The foreshore was also developed with the construction, in 1930, of Luna Park, including a big dipper which five years later was dismantled and taken to Melbourne. Although the bathing jetty was demolished in 1928, and the kiosk wrecked in a storm in 1943, the jetty remained a favourite place for holidaymakers until the fierce gale of April 1948 destroyed it beyond repair. Glenelg had to wait another twenty years for a replacement.

H.M. Cooper, A Naval History of South Australia, Adelaide, 1950,
pp. 83-84.
The Advertiser, 12 April 1948.
The Advertiser, 27 December 1993. p. 28.

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