Family to sell beachfront home after 47 years

Kevin Squires in front of the family home in Thirroul. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR
Kevin Squires in front of the family home in Thirroul. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

It was a different Australia when the Squires family moved house directly opposite Thirroul Beach in 1965.

Steelworkers and coalminers occupied most of the homes before the area evolved into one of the Illawarra's most sought after suburbs.

And few in those days even wanted to be close to the sea.

"Most people in the '60s lived at the back of Thirroul by choice but dad, a steelworker, decided to move us from McCauley St to the ocean front, for just $15,000 for the house and a huge plot of land," Kevin Squires, 63, recalled.

The old house, on the corner of Harbord St and Cliff Rd, was replaced by a modest brick home in the 1980s and it will go to auction next month with potential to be developed into a duplex.

"It's hard to say what it will get because the frontage alone is three times the size of your average house," MMJ Wollongong agent David Geary said yesterday.

Gilbert and Imelda Squires had four children who made the most of the beach culture of the day, including endless hours in baking sun, dances known as stomps and surfing on long, heavy boards.

"Dad was one of Thirroul's first permanent lifesavers at the beach and three generations including my grandsons followed him," Mr Squires said.

"Back then it was a small community and everybody knew everybody else except at holiday time when people would cram into what was then a camping area at the southern end of the beach."

Gilbert's brother, Albert, was Wollongong mayor in the mid to late '60s and has been immortalised by road names such as Squires Way at Fairy Meadow and Squires Crescent, Coledale.

Kevin Squires said he and his two siblings - his identical twin, Brian, died at age 44 - will attend the auction on September 15.

"It will be a sad day in lots of ways because of the great memories but mum has gone into care and the time has come to sell."


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