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September 22, 1971: Girls put us on the map

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November 08, 2017

A one way tram ride that resulted in a walk back to their vantage point on Collins St was not the highlight of a day in Melbourne by two Shepparton lasses on Monday.

City Council stenographers Mrs Cheryl Knight and Miss Margaret Clarke were representing Shepparton at the official opening of Tourist Development Week.

During the day they were “taken for a ride” on a tram (the last to run at Ballarat) to have pictures taken from the Melbourne Press.

At Princess Bridge the girls all had to “disembark” to walk back to their respective vantage points in the city.

Cheryl and Margaret were luckier than some.

Their spot was outside the Kodak building in Collins St.

Loaded with 400 envelopes containing brochures on Shepparton, with a packet of dried pears attached to each envelope, the two girls distributed these by 1pm.

At first Melbourne people were hesitant about taking the envelopes and brushed past the two girls.

But after one or two takers there was no further trouble.

At least 12 people who were former Shepparton residents stopped to chat.

Then there were many others who had stayed at the Shepparton caravan park or just passed through the city.

One Italian who was given one of the envelopes by Cheryl returned later with a choice of bloom he swiped from a Melbourne City Council flower box.

And many people wanted to pay for the brochures given to them.

The gold brocade hot pants and white blouses worn by the girls brought many favourable comments.

But they said they had some difficulty when they got on the back of a tram to have their photo taken.

The full length sleeveless coats of the same material as their hot pants also drew many admiring glances.

Chairman of the Develop Shepparton Committee which sponsored the girls to Melbourne, Cr J. C. Stewart and Cr J. L. Gerrard, together with Town Clerk Mr R. D. O’Brien attended the official opening of Tourist Development Week.

A number of country centres were represented at the opening which was performed by the Minster for Tourism Mr Dickie.

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