SHOPPING MAYHEM: More than 20,000 shoppers visited on the opening day of Lismore Square on September 21, 1979.
SHOPPING MAYHEM: More than 20,000 shoppers visited on the opening day of Lismore Square on September 21, 1979. The Northern Star Archives

The day the Square opened

ON SEPTEMBER 21, 1979 a brand new $10 million shopping centre opened in Lismore.

More than 20,000 people flocked to Lismore Square on opening day.

Lismore Mayor WG Blair said at the time the shopping centre would enhance Lismore's reputation as the shopping centre of the North Coast.

Lend Lease developed the site, and managing director Stuart Hornery was reported to have said there had been a lot of trepidation among other retailers about the impact of Lismore Square on existing businesses, but his experience told him these fears were unfounded.

On the day of the shopping centre opening, traffic into the city was reported to be "abnormally heavy”.

Lismore Square manager at the time, Les Blanksby, said the opening had also had a substantial spinoff for business houses in the main shopping block, with many businesses reporting their busiest Tuesday trading for some time.

Lismore and District Chamber president Mr B Hauville was reported as saying the heavy advertising by the Square had paid dividends to everyone in the city, and said trading in the main block had been heavy.

Mr Hauville said this confirmed the view of the chamber that Lismore Square would be good for the whole of the city.

"The range of facilities now available in Lismore sets the city apart as the business and commercial centre of the North Coast and many new shoppers can be expected.”

Did you know?

The first shopping centre to be considered for the site was Parkside Mall.

Before construction on the Square, the site had a few nicknames due to the concrete pylons that stood there since 1974 - The Uralba street cemetery and the Stonehenge of Lismore were a couple.



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