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Tobruk Memorial Baths

The Strand, Townsville

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Tobruk Memorial Baths (2010); Heritage Branch staff

Tobruk Memorial Baths (2010)

Tobruk Memorial Baths (2008); Heritage Branch staff

Tobruk Memorial Baths (2008)

Tobruk Memorial Baths (2009); Heritage Branch staff

Tobruk Memorial Baths (2009)

Tobruk Memorial Baths (2010); Heritage Branch staff

Tobruk Memorial Baths (2010)

Tobruk Memorial Baths opened in 1950, and were designed and constructed by the Townsville City Council’s engineering and works departments. The complex comprised a standard eight lane 50m Olympic pool, a toddler’s pool, dressing sheds, café, manager’s residence and 250-seat grandstand. The site had been associated with sea bathing from at least the 1870s, with sea baths built in 1881. Construction of these new baths commenced in December 1941, but there was much opposition to the expenditure of public money on recreational activities during the war. A petition was raised and eventually the State Government ruled that the council was operating within the war time building restrictions. Townsville City Council decided to name the baths in honour of the Australians who had fought and died in the siege of Tobruk, in the Libyan desert campaign against Germany’s ‘invincible’ General Rommel in April 1941. Inside the main entrance gate is a memorial erected by the Townsville Rats of Tobruk. In the mid – late 1950s, the baths were used for training the Australian Olympic team prior to the 1956 Melbourne and the 1960 Rome Olympics. The manager was Alan ‘Stumpy’ Lawrence, the father of Australian Olympic team swimming coach, Lawrie Lawrence.

Coordinates: -19.25330234, 146.81977561

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Licence
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
31 August 2016
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