1970s Our Campbelltown



Gordon Fetterplace

A most popular Mayor, Gordon Fetterplace came to Campbelltown and opened the Bus Stop Pharmacy. As mayor he never attempted to equal the orations of Clive Tregear but had a friendly style "like a bloke you might meet down the footy." He was as happy to outfit himself in a Santa Suit for a school Christmas party or his Mayoral robes. He backed anything "good for the town" - a phrase he was most fond of. While campaigning strongly for industrial growth to provide jobs he lobbied to protect the Scenic Hills and the Georges River bushland.

Gordon Fetterplace is one of our longest serving mayors. He served 7 and a half years as Mayor, though not concurrently. Mayor Gordon Fetterplace with Town Clerk Keith Garling below.

Photo of Gordon Fetterplace
(Image sourced from Campbelltown City Council Public Relations Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

1970's fashion

Seventies fashions and cars on full display at the Campbelltown Picnic Races in 1973.

A picnic scene in the 1970s
(Sourced from Edney Family collection)

Lewis family gathering at Campbelltown East in the early 1970s, a wonderful showcase of fashions and furnishings.

Three women cooking in a 1970s style kitchen kitchen
(Image sourced from Joy Lewis Collection)

An array of late 1970s fashion - Local Campbelltown MP Cliff Mallam (second from right) with local helpers in 1978.

A candid photograph with MP Cliff Mallam
(Image sourced from Campbelltown- Macarthur Advertiser Collection)

Burnt orange, the colour of the decade…a function at Campbelltown Catholic Club in the mid-1970s.

social function at the Campbelltown Catholic Club 1970s
(Image sourced from Campbelltown Catholic Club Collection)


150 year celebration- Campbelltown's Sesquicentenary

In its 150th year Campbelltown was growing by thirty-five residents a day. The City's birthday was celebrated with the Sesquicentenary. Ms Helen Ramsbottom was crowned "Miss Spirit of Campbelltown 1970" by Mayor Clive Tregear.

Crowning of Miss Spirit 1970 below.

Crowning of Miss Spirit
(Image sourced from Geoff Eves Collection Campbelltown City Library Local Studies Collection)

Locals are seen here cheering on the Sesqui-Centennial Parade.

A float coming down Queen street for the Sesqui-Centennial-Parade
(Image sourced from Jackie Green Collection)

Appin Mine Disaster

In July 1979 the community mourned the tragic death of 14 men deep underground in a mine explosion at Appin coal mine. More than 100 fellow mineworkers from surrounding collieries made themselves available for rescue and recovery work. The spreading of stone dust the weekend before thankfully limited the spread of the explosion.

Memorial Garden to honour and commemorate the 14 miners killed on the 24th July 1979 shown in the image below.

Appin Mine disaster memorial
(Image sourced from Richard Lawrance Collection Campbelltown City Library. Local Studies Collection)

A new club for Campbelltown- the birth of Western Suburbs Leagues Club

In 1972-73 Campbelltown gained a new licensed sporting venue, the Campbelltown City Rugby League Football Club limited. The Campbelltown City Rugby League club administered the local football club popularly known and the Kangaroos' (originally the wallabies), one of the first and longest running football clubs in Campbelltown with origins back to 1908. The major objective of the Club was to foster the code of rugby league in the region.

Mr Frank Moore and Mr Mike Semchyshyn erecting a notice of intention to commence construction of the club in 1972, below.

The site being marked out

The Campbelltown City Rugby League Club officially opened in 1974. The vision of the Club was two-fold; to support the Campbelltown City Rugby League Football Club and to encourage and facilitate community sporting events throughout the local Macarthur region. Solicitor Mr John Marsden was the President.

Campbelltown Kangaroos Football Club 1970s
(Image sourced from Wests Historical-Wests Group Macarthur)

New Freeway

The new freeway opens between Campbelltown and Liverpool in 1973. Note the lack of cars. This image was snapped from the Raby Road over bridge by Arnold McGill, and shows the then-rural paddocks of St Andrews (on the left) and Eagle Vale (on the right). Campbelltown can be seen in the distance.

A view of the new freeway built in the 1970s
(Image sourced from McGill Family collection)

Female students admitted to Hurlstone School

A historic moment when female students were admitted to Hurlstone Agricultural High School for the first time in 1979.

Students tending to a cow at Hurlstone Park Agricultural School
(Image sourced from Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser collection)

Fisher's Ghost Parade

Prospect Electricity float in the Fishers Ghost parade in the early 1970s.

Fishers Ghost Parade float 1970s
(Image sourced from Sharon Green Collection)


Macarthur Square

Macarthur Square opened in September 1979. Costing 30 million, it had the city's first multi-storey department store and creates hundreds of employment opportunities.

An aerial photo of Macarthur Square in the 1970s
(Images sourced from Fairfax Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

An aerial view of the 1979 opening of Macarthur Square, still surrounded by paddocks.

Aerial View of Macarthur Square on its opening day
(Image sourced from Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser)

Campbelltown Hospital- The area's first major hospital

Campbelltown Hospital was opened on 1 October 1977 by Premier Neville Wran. The building was largely instigated by Gough Whitlam who asked the state opposition to keep an election promise.

The image below shows Campbelltown hospital in the year of its opening.

A parachute landing with the Campbelltown Hospital in the background
(Image sourced from Jeff Stonehouse Collection (Campbelltown City Library. Local Studies Collection)

Glenquarie Shopping Centre - Progress for Macquarie Fields

Two major shopping centres were opened during the seventies. Macarthur Square was one, and Glenquarie Shopping centre in September 1975 provided a much needed facility for residents of Macquarie Fields. It was the first time a NSW council funded and developed such a complex.

A black and white image of the Glenquarie library in the 1970s
(Image sourced from Local Studies Collection, Campbelltown City Library)

Glenalvon House

A fully restored Glenalvon House and its rear stables were opened in 1970, which would become a local museum run by the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society. The image below shows a couple of early 70s groovers at Historic Glenavon...Ray Stokes and Noelene Keen, for a fashion spread.

Photo shoot for a fashion spread at historic house
(Image sourced from Geoff Eves Collection)

St John's Preparatory School

St. John's Preparatory College "Westview", (at 4 St. John's Road) a Sisters of the Good Samaritan boarding school for boys ages 5 - 12 years , had been operating since 1889. Sadly the enrolment numbers were declining and it was decided to close the school at the end of the 1969 school year. St. Patrick's College (in Old St. John's on the Hill) for girls, was experiencing a surge in enrolments and the decision was made by the Order of The Sisters of the Good Samaritan to move to the vacated St. John's Preparatory College "Westview" site to begin the 1970 school year. The College continues to function from this site today.

Photo of St. John's Preparatory College - building built in 1922.

St Johns Preparatory School

Contemporary photo of the above photo at St. Patrick's College

St Patricks College building today
(Images sourced from St Patricks College Archives)


Huge new housing estates cropped up around Campbelltown in the 1970s. This shot of Airds was taken from St Johns Road, near St Patrick's College, looking south-east.

A view of Airds from open fields across to new development
(Image sourced from Phil Reed Collection)

Year 12 captains and prefects at Airds High School in 1978. Many new high schools began popping up in the 1970s and 1980s to cater for the expansion in local suburbia.

A portrait of year 12 Captains at Airds High school
(Image sourced from Phil Reed Collection)

St John's Catholic Primary School and protection of the green belt

Youngsters from St John's Catholic Primary School in 1972 with the Scenic Hills zone in the background. It was in that year that the green belt protecting Campbelltown's western fringe was protected by the Council.

St John's School with Scenic Hills in the background
(Image sourced from St John the Evangelist School)

Orana Park

Sports carnival at Orana Park, Leumeah in the mid-1970s. This is now unrecognisable as the site of Campbelltown Sports Ground.

People playing sport at Orana Park fields
(Image sourced from Phil Reed Collection)

1970s Queen Street

Queen Street from the air in 1978.

Aerial view of Queen Street 1970s
(Image sourced from Campbelltown- Macarthur Advertiser Collection)