Memories flood back at Cooly
THE COOLY Rocks On festival will do more than just rattle the bones this weekend, as fond memories of a bygone era are stirred for many.
The nostalgia festival, which celebrates the music, cars and life of the 1950s and 1960s, is currently underway, culminating in the grand street parade at Coolangatta on Saturday from 9.30am.
For Kingscliff retiree Pat Benstead (nee Staunton), the festival brings back memories of her life as a teenager, when she and her sister Fay used to travel up from Murwillumbah to enjoy the beaches and nightlife of Coolangatta and Kirra.
"We used to catch the bus up for the weekend," Mrs Benstead said.
"Coolangatta and Kirra were our main hang outs. We would come up at Christmas with a tent and put it up in the back of our friend's yard and we would go to Danceland.
"It's a real trip down memory lane, there's no place like it."
Mrs Benstead, who along with her husband Alby went on to open the first ambulance station at Kingscliff in 1963, said she loved to revel in the past at Cooly Rocks On.
"We go every year, it brings back all the childhood memories," she said.
"I love all of the old cars, a long time ago we used to own a Since car and I learned to drive in that," she said, pointing to an ageing family photo (above).
"A lot of people wouldn't know there was a railway station at Coolangatta once."
Known as the Yellow Lady of Kingscliff, Mrs Benstead is today a proud mother of two, grandmother of five and great-grandmother of three.