Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Loo Needs a Brush Up; Looking Back with Di Millar

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Loo Needs a Brush Up; Looking Back with Di Millar

Article excerpt

LAVATORY, loo, privy, latrine, water closet or call it what you will, a toilet has a necessary function in our daily lives and anyone who has been acaught shorta away from home knows how important public toilets are in any community.

As a group of educated men and women, monastics understood the need for sanitation and cleanliness and installed washing and toilet facilities in their ecclesiastical institutions.

Such names as garderobe, rere dorter, lavatorium and (my favourite) necessarium were given to these medieval facilities that were installed long before scientists realised that bacteria was a major source of contamination.

Murwillumbah's well-known public facilities at Broadway have come under fire in recent times for their shabby appearance but I well remember using them as a child on regular visits to Murwillumbah after they were newly opened.

Back then the interior walls, floors, toilets and hand basins were kept tidy and spotlessly clean. The tiles gleamed.

Women, who in those days dressed up to go to town in hats and gloves, were pleased to be able to use the new public conveniences.

For various reasons some preferred not to enter the town's hotels, which were the main source of women's toilets at this time, and cafes usually only allowed paying customers to take advantage of their facilities.

Tweed Shire Council decided to call for tenders for the public lavatories at the rostrum site in Broadway, Murwillumbah on Wednesday, April 14, 1948.

Plans for the proposed structure were drawn up and the Medical Health Officer for the Richmond-Tweed districts inspected the proposed site with the Tweed Shire Health Inspector.

A second site was inspected at the corner of Alice St and Church Ln but this site was considered by the Medical Health Officer Dr Donnellan to be too close to existing buildings so he approved the rostrum site.

Tweed Shire Council decided to make an immediate application for a loan for the work, as well as call tenders to carry it out. …

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