South Lismore

Almost fifty years later I can still remember the smell and the thud of the rubber ink stamp going into my passbook. Back then, everyone had a Commonwealth Bank account, as we were automatically (it seems) signed up at school. I also seem to remember we would take our coins to school weekly, and somehow, the money was automatically added to our accounts. Magic? Along the way, I would sometimes go to the post office at South Lismore and add money to my account, which is where I remember the smell (and the sound) of the ink stamp.

Surprisingly, the South Lismore Post Office is still around. They’ve had a paint job, and the public phones with the A and B buttons have gone. And sadly, it was closed today, so I couldn’t actually go in and take a look around. But in these days of both bank and post office closures, it was great to see it was still around. Other nearby buildings, such as The Egg Board, The Baby Health Clinic, and Mr Meek’s Store have undergone changes. But the post office is still there.

Compared with many other parts of Lismore, South Lismore remains very similar to the place where I grew up. Most of the buildings are still here, and many of the same families still inhabit them.

The neighbouring houses where Nancy (left), and where (right) Granny, mum and the other Dunn family members spent a number of years living, are still there at the bottom of Union Street. The railway bridge is also still there, even if the trains no longer run. One of my surviving members of the Dunn family (Edna) tells a story of the family living on the railway track for a number of days while their house was flooded.
Union Street, South Lismore.
Revisiting the street in South Lismore where I spent the first five years of my life. Our house was moved and lifted to a location in Casino Street. I checked with my family, and there was an empty paddck in the street where I thought there might have been another building. Apparently the block was owned by the Hyland family, who lived out the back, and who became part of our family through marriage.
The church next door to where I grew up is now someone’s home.

Author: James O'Brien

Born / Currently : Lismore / Widjabul Wia-Bal - Bundjalung Live : Sydney / Gadigal - Eora Also : Brisbane, Bourke, Renmark, Wagga, Perth Pronouns : He/him/his.

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