Sydney Morning Herald Reflects on the 80th Birthday of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Darnell Collection Was There to Help Celebrate.
Happy 80th birthday, it's a mighty life span
March 19, 2012
NOTCHING up eight decades is a memorable achievement at any time but today it will be special for the 80 year old Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Clare Wong and Olivia Gillespie model 1930s clothing during the bridge's birthday celebrations yesterday. Photo: Edwina Pickles
The bridge's 80th birthday was celebrated yesterday at Bradfield Park, Milsons Point, a day early but nobody cared much about that. The NSW Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, described the bridge as ''a link, not just between north and south of the city but for the whole of NSW''.
The bridge was ''working as well as it did 80 years ago'' but some of the technology was ageing. Mr Gay called for toll providers to design, build and maintain a new collection system. The toll booths became cashless in 2009 and will be removed in the upgrade.
The celebrations, though muted a little because of early rain, were still dazzling, partly thanks to 1930s clothing from the Darnell Collection of Charlotte Smith.
The birthday has brought back memories to millions, most happy, some bitter. They are undoubtedly bitter for the descendants of the 16 men who died during the bridge's construction but they were proud moments for the two granddaughters of the then premier, Jack Lang, who were there yesterday.
And yes, the bridge-crashing Captain de Groote did get the obligatory mention.