04 May 2013

25 Years Ago Brisbane Hosted the World Expo '88

It's the 25th Anniversary of an event that changed the city of Brisbane forever. What used to be a quiet country town evolved into an international city, capable of staging world events just like any other major city. The event which brought dignitaries from around the world to this city was of course WORLD EXPO '88.

To honour the 25th Anniversary of that event, the newly renovated City Hall is displaying an exhibition of the event in its gallery.

We met up with long time friends Norm and Joan from Esk for a lunch in town and visited the exhibition in the city hall.
The City Brisbane Hall

There are lots of familiar images on display reminding us of a fun six months when we were much younger. A lot of visitors to this event weren't  even born at that time.
Mascot Expo Oz
Uniform of the Expo marching Band
Both our daughters, Carol and Sonya were members of the J.P.C. Marching Band which performed regularly in the daily parade or in the performing area, the Piazza.

Daughter Sonya on trumpet (right)
Daughter Carol-Ann on trumpet
Street Performers
Diane and Joan at the entrance to the Exhibition
A little more about Expo '88
World Expo 88, also known as Expo '88, was a World's Fair held in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland,Australia, during a six-month period between Saturday, 30 April 1988 and Sunday, 30 October 1988. The theme of the Expo was "Leisure in the Age of Technology", and the mascot for the Expo was an Australian platypus named Expo Oz.[1]

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, came out to open Expo '88.

The A$625 million fair was the largest event of the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations of the European settlement of Australia.[2] Expo 88 attracted more than 15,760,000 visitors who bought tickets worth A$175 million.[3] The event achieved both its economic aims and very good attendances, was successfully used to promote Queensland as a tourist destination and it spurred a major re-development at the South Brisbane site.[4] The core feature of the site were the international pavilions.[3] Many of the exposition's sculptures and buildings were retained by various entities around the state and are still in use or on display decades later.


  1. It was a fun time in Brisbane and when we all became of our city.

  2. We had the World Expo in 1958 in Brussels, and the whole town was turned upside down and lots and lots of old historical buildings destroyed to built ugly new once ! Instead of becoming more beautiful it was the opposite ! Today everybody is angry about that and tries to safe the old buildings which escaped the massacre !

    1. Yes, we travelled from Switzerland to London by car and stopped in Brussels in the early 70s. We visited the Atomium and had dinner in the restaurant. The empty Expo car-park was packed with gypsies in their caravans. Are they still there?

  3. I love the last photo of Diane and her friend.

  4. Do either of the girls still play trumpet?

    1. No they don't Julie. Carol did for a few years but gave it up when she went to uni.

  5. Another to do on the list: must get into City Hall to see the exhibits. What a wonderful time Expo was. Interesting, Chris was in the marching band 10 years after your girls!


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