Warrnambool in September, 1979


HE is now well known for his Rudy’s Boxing empire, but as this photo shows, back in September 1979, Rodney Ryan was the model student.

This photo has Mr Ryan back in the classroom at Warrnambool West Primary School after returning from taking part in a Junior Lord Mayor of Melbourne competition. 

Mr Ryan, who was in grade six, was one of nine competitors, three girls and six boys, to make the final. He represented both the Warrnambool and Geelong regions.

The eventual winner of the competition came from Ballarat. 

The competition was organised by UNICEF and was part of the International Year of the Child.

It was a big year for Mr Ryan who was also named as Warrnambool West Primary School’s Student of the Year. 


THE business landscape of Warrnambool has changed dramatically from September 1979.

A flick through the pages of The Standard show many of the businesses of the day are no longer with us.

For one of those business, Flaherty’s Chocolate Centre in Kepler Street, September 1979 was a time of great excitement. Shop owners Jim and Margaret Flaherty purchased a Taylor-Freezer machine that was capable of making not only thick shakes but also soft-serve ice cream. The machine was the first of its kind to be installed in Victoria. 

ALSO in Kepler Street was nu-Brent Ford, which offered 24-hour R.A.C.V. coverage and free towing.

LIEBIG Street was home to some long-standing and high-profile businesses in 1979. Among those were the department stores Stephens and Youngers. The special of the day in the Youngers advertisement was bassinette and cot blankets below half price. The blankets were made locally at the Woollen Mill in Warrnambool.

Just down the way from Youngers was Coles New World variety store. It was promoting its dollar dazzlers range which included five cans of soft drink for just one dollar. 

Stephens had Terry Towelling shorts on sale for $8.99. A.G Smith electrics was operating, with one of its big selling points  that people could rent colour televisions from the store. 

For money matters, Victoria Savings and Loan Society was at 91 Liebig Street with a laughing kookaburra as its mascot. The business said it calculated its interest rates daily and was offering an on-call rate of up to nine per cent. 

For those who were sports minded, Stan McPhee Sports was in operation in the south end of the main street, with bicycles a specialty.