PHOTOS

Leader 60th anniversary photos and stories from the 1980s

The good times rolled in the 1980s in St George and Sutherland Shire, but there were also terrible tragedies.

The Australia Made concert on Australia Day, 1987 was the biggest rock concert ever held in the shire.

More than 25,000 rock fans crammed into Endeavour Field to see 10 of Australia's top rock groups, including INXS, Jimmy Barnes, Mental as Anything, the Triffids, I'm Talking, The Saints, Divinyls and Models.

At the other end of the scale, the 1980s will be remembered for the worst bushfire tragedies, with bushfires claiming the lives of three volunteer firefighters at Waterfall in November 1980 and a further five at Grays Point in January 1983.

More major road and rail projects were completed in the 1980s and Australia's bicentenary was a catalyst for many other improvements.

A second Tom Uglys bridge was opened in 1987 and the duplication of the rail line between Gymea and Caringbah was completed in 1985.

Residents also benefited from the electrification of the line between Sutherland and Waterfall.

A special souvenir edition of the Leader was printed for the opening of the new $14.2 million Tom Uglys Bridge.

Special issues also marked the 1984 centenary of the arrival of the railway in St George, Hurstville's centenary in 1987 and the 1988 bicentenary.

Bicentennial celebrations started with a re-enactment of the First Fleet sailing into Botany Bay on January 18, 1988.

Colourful spectator boats jammed the entrance to the bay and crowds gathered at Kurnell and La Perouse.

However, thousands of people who lined the shore from Ramsgate to Brighton-Le-Sands were disappointed when a planned circuit of the bay by the ships was cancelled without notice.

Celebrations continued throughout the year, with hundreds of events, both large and small. Many bicentennial projects, including Cronulla Plaza and Bicentennial Park, at Rockdale were completed.

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