After speaking to bob on the phone to arrange the interview I was a tad apprehensive. I had never interviewed an older member of the community before and was a little worried about how he would react to the questions I had planned for the interview. How foolish I was. As soon as I walked through the beautiful gardens surrounding the Gold coast and Hinterland Museum, Bob welcomed me with a smile and a firm handshake. His keenness for my journalism work clearly shone through as the questions kept rolling, from asking what my project involved to questions about the photos that I had gathered of the Kinkabool to even helping me with ideas for the next my next project.
The sectary at the museum laughed and said “so you have your best clothes on for the interview then Bob!”, he stood there and laughed in his worn blue polo shirt and old shorts.
We sat down, before I set the cameras up, to get to know Bob a little more and to talk to him about the Kinkabool. He politely corrected me when I mentioned that the building was built in 1959, by saying that the construction began then and eighteen months later it was built and in running order. He examined the photographs that I took along with me and picked out tiny details that I had not seen, for instance the name of one of the buildings on a wall and the old fashioned cars parked along the highway.
While I was setting up the equipment I gave Bob a piece of printed paper with the questions that I was going to ask him with pointers below each question. For example the first question ‘How are you connected to this photograph’ followed with, please include dates, your specific role and what it meant at the time for you and the locals.
He stressed that overtime everything changes for the people before hand. “On the Gold Coast everyone comes and changes it for the people who were here before. When the white man came he changed it for the Aboriginal”.
He explained the reason for the construction of the Kinkabool to be due to the fact the land values got so high that you couldn’t have a house on the land as it was too valuable. He goes on to say that high rise was inevitable as you had to build something on the land that gave you an intern and the higher you went the greater the intern.
Bob then joked about how absurd the health and safety regulations had become and compared the current time with the 1950s/60s where maybe one scaffold inspector would check occasionally that everything was ok and that was it.
As I was leaving the museum there was a deep loud noise and a squeal from the sectary as Bob caught her off guard sounding the horn of something or other, he laughed hysterically as I left.
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