(Image from Author’s own collection)
As this plaque in the car park at Coolangatta’s Snapper Rocks says:
“Snapper Rocks Sea Baths, one of the Gold Coast’s first tourist attractions, was built on this site in 1956 by Mr Jack Evans. They were originally built as swimming baths until Jack decided to incorporate a special shark pool for public viewing. From the great response this received he surmised that dolphins would also prove popular. He obtained 2 bottle-nose dolphins and thus began the renowned Jack Evans Pet Porpoise Show.
Jack Evans was a pioneer and a man who played a vital role in establishing our City’s tourist industry.”
The Jack Evans Pet Porpoise Pool eventually moved a little further south from Snapper Rocks in Queensland to Tweed Heads in New South Wales.
It is rare and refreshing to find a memorial plaque commemorating an ocean pool that became a ghost.
On 25 November, Have you seen the old Gold Coast posted Ian Rogers’ 1965 view of the now demolished Snapper Rocks pool complex on Facebook. People commenting on that image mentioned:
• the complex expanded to include four ocean pools,
• learning to swim there,
• swimming with newly caught dolphins held in these pools before their transfer to the Jack Evan Porpoise Pool’s new home at Tweed Heads,
• doing lifesaving exams at these pools,
• relatives, who were regular swimmers at these pools,
• the Tweeds Heads public school using these pools for swimming lessons, and
• the Tweed River High School holding swimming carnivals at these pools.
Duke, J., & Cameron, T. Jack Evans’ Pet Porpoise Pool Tweed Heads. Queensland: The Wilke Group.
(Story and captions by Jan Duke assisted by Toni Cameron with photographs by Ray Duke).