Monday, May 12, 2008

Revisiting Expo 88 held in Brisbane

On Saturday 10th May 2008, there was a 20th
Anniversary World Expo 88 Celebration, so
Rosalind and I decided to attend. We caught
the train at
10.35am and then walked the short
distance to recapture our memories of
20 years past.

Before I do the post on the 20th Anniversary of
Expo 88, I thought I'd revisit the time I spent at
this marvellous event with some memories and
photos I have "captured" from researching this

Wazza and Rosalind at South
Bank, the site of Expo 88

Expo '88 ran for seven days a week, between the hours
10am-10pm, for six months. From the opening on
30 April, attended by Queen Elizabeth II, and
30 October
, the Expo attracted 15,760,447 visitors, the target
attendance had been set at 7.8 million. The opening
ceremony was broadcast to an estimated television
audience of 800 million people internationally. The majority
of visitors were Australians. Most of the international
visitors were Japanese, but 100,000 came from the
United Kingdom and Europe, with 150,000 visitors from
United States. A total of 36 nations, two international
organizations, 14 state and regional governments, and
34 Corporations had exhibits. The exposition averaged
100,000 visitors a day, with highest day of attendance
being 184,000 visitors on
October 29, 1988 - the last day
before the Closing Ceremony.

.................Expo 88 during the day.

..................Expo 88 during the evening.

Situated on a 40-hectare site on the southern bank
of the Brisbane River, a former collection of disused
railyards, light industry, residential and parkland directly
across from the Brisbane central business district, World
Expo '88 was the largest single event commemorating
the Bicentenary of European settlement to Australia
(1788-1988), and a Australian competition was sanctioned
as an international exposition to the City of
- Australia
's third largest city.

The Monorail passing above the Canadian Exhibit.

A monorail was constructed for Expo '88 to take visitors
quickly around the Expo site. Costing AU$12 million, it
consisted of 2 stations at either end of the site,
2.3 kilometres of track and 4 nine-carriage trains.
The route included going through the
Queensland Pavilion,
across the Pacific Lagoon and beside the
Brisbane River.
The system was able to carry 44,000 passengers per day.

...........The Nepalese Pavilion.

The only remaining traces of the Exposition on the former
site are: the Nepalese Pavilion, a traditional three-storey
hand-made wooden replica of a famous Pagoda in Kathmandu,
the board walk at the South end of the parklands, and
two pubs (hotels).

Crowds outside the Australian Pavilion.

As 1988 began I purchased a season pass so that I
could attend Expo ’88 at any time on any day. A friend
also purchased a season pass and we decided to go
every Wednesday after work. We also went on week-ends.
In the six months we would of attended all the different
exhibits, some more than once. I had a Super 8 movie
camera, but video cameras were taking over from movie
cameras, so not far from South Bank (where Expo ’88 was
held) was a camera store that hired out video cameras.
This was well before the advent of today’s small digital
video cameras. The camera I hired took the full sized VHS
tape, so this unit was huge. To operate the camera was a
battery pack and this was HUGE and weighed “a ton”.
When the battery ran out of charge you could take the
battery back to the camera store and they would replace
the battery pack with a fully recharged battery at no extra
cost. The VHS tape had three hours of recording time on
the tape. Now this is a long time. We were there from

10.00am until 5.00pm when we had to have the video
camera back to the shop. Now that’s 7 hours walking
around or over 2 and a bit times of VHS recording using
over 2 VHS tapes. If you’ve never used a video camera
I can tell you that you are not using the video continually.
One would take a bit of video here and a bit more there.
You would not be filming all the time. It seemed to me
that I was doing a real lot of filming, but I did not get
through one VHS tape (and I knew from previous
recordings that there was no way I would use up the
3 hours of the tape). Finally maybe the next day I loaded
the tape into the video machine to view what I had taken.
If memory serves me correct there was maybe
20 minutes of video. Now that doesn’t seem like a lot of
video, but let me tell you that is properly the average
amount of time one would take doing this time of filming.
At days end my shoulder was so sore from lugging this
very heavy battery pack around the Expo site.

Daily concerts were held at the River Stage.

Strolling through some of the exhibits at Expo 88.

Sunset overlooking the Expo 88 site.

The Kookaburra cruising pass the Expo 88 site.

I was going to do one post on the 20th Anniversary of
Expo 88, but after researching this event I realized that
to do this I would have one heck of a huge post, so I’ve
decided to split the post into two parts.
I will continue this in a few days.


Merle said...

Dear Warren ~~ Good post about the Expo 88. It was really great and I
would have loved more time there.
I went with Dad and Ada and Peter and Julie and we all enjoyed it a lot.
Good luck on your next post on the 20 year Anniversary. Take care. I was
wondering if you were waiting for the next Hollywwod star to die!!!
Love, Merle. Thanks for the Mother's Day wishes.

Merle said...

Hi again Warren ~~ Thanks for your e mail. About the post I lost ~ The
Autosave does save and is good (usually) It saved it as a draft, but trying to get it out of drafts, is when I lost it somehow. I agree, I wouldn't like you to have to retype a post of the size you post. The pps
about what we learnt from our mothers
was really funny with the pictures.
Thanks for that. See ya, Love, Merle.

Peter said...

G'day Wazza, here comes another marathon post I feel, Brisbane did itself proud with Expo, the whole world sat up and took notice.