Tropical Fruits Parade and Launch

If I think about all of the things which have happened in terms of gay life in Lismore during my lifetime, there’s a lot to reflect upon.

As a teenager, I remember the homophobic editorials of Jim Brigginshaw, Editor of “The Northern Star”. I remember doing a school project, aged 16, where I was part of a group that interviewed him, and I was terrified.

Jim Brigginshaw (Northern Star Editor), Sue Bazzana, Anthony Baker

As a teenager, I also remember the social scene was very much based around “the beats”, and in particular, the log outside the City Hall. For me, it wasn’t a “sex culture”, it was a social outlet to meet other guys.

Lismore's Big Log
Lismore’s Big Log

As a teenager, I remember Mike Bray and his partner (Hank?) opening “Double Dutch” Lismore’s first gay restaurant in the early 80s.

The house behind the trees was once home to “Double Dutch”, Lismore’s first gay-owned and operated restaurant, and which was very much a home to Lismore’s gay community during the 1980s. Later, the house became a residence for a couple: Les and Russell. Yes, South Lismore really did change!
The house behind the trees was once home to “Double Dutch”, Lismore’s first gay-owned and operated restaurant, and which was very much a home to Lismore’s gay community during the 1980s. Later, the house became a residence for a couple: Les and Russell. Yes, South Lismore really did change!

I also remember Mike and Vera Bourne (the mother of a schoolmate) hosting Gaywaves on the same community radio station I volunteered at (2NCR). I remember listening in my bedroom on a Tuesday night. Later I went on to fill in as presenter on a few occasions. I remember the start of “Tropical Fruits”, though I never attended early events as they were usually outside town.

As an adult I remember the opening of The Winsome as a gay pub. The pub my dad used to drink at when I was a child, was suddenly the place to be.

Winsome Hotel

As an adult, I also remember  heading off to Tropical Fruits the night before my school reunion. A couple of years ago, I remember doing Tropical Fruits NYE for the very first time, and attending a film festival, and this year, a photographic exhibition.

A lot has changed in Lismore, and I’m so proud the city in which I grew up hosts Tropical Fruits. Today, it was the street parade. Bravo Tropical Fruits.

3 thoughts on “Tropical Fruits Parade and Launch

  1. I really admire gay people who can stick it out in country towns and not head for the big cities. Even better that they make changes in attitudes in where they live.

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