Wednesday 10 February 2021

Minto Mall begins

Surprisingly, Minto Mall was named, not by a corporate think tank, but by a local primary school boy. Prior to its grand opening on April 28 1981, developers launched a competition asking for suggestions to name the brand new shopping centre. The winning entrant was Mathew, a young local with his nicely alliterative entry.

14 Nov 1980
Arthur Jones Collection

At a cost of 13 Million dollars not only did the building itself employ 200 workers during its construction but an additional 300 would be employed in the shopping centre. Opening with Coles New World, Ansett Travel, Mr Whippy, bank and also Kmart boasting 13 Checkouts!

18 Feb 1981
Arthur Jones Collection

Coles Managing director, Mr Bevan Bradbury said they would “offer a form of shopping that has proved enormously popular.” - referring to the latest fashion for malls. He also proclaimed New World itself would have a 132 metres of refrigerated selling space.

Minto News April 1981
The advertising materials ushering in
this new form of shopping experience,
 proclaiming “Yes, right now you can step into
 1980’s style shopping”

For two weeks the mall offered tickets in various competitions. “Up for grabs” was a refrigerator, colour television and dishwasher. The winning ticket was presented by the “Multimedia” personality of Michael “Hollywood” John Howson and flamboyant Gold Logie award winning comedian, Jeanne Little who's catchcry of "Ohhhhh, Daaaahling was no doubt heard throughout Minto Mall. 

Minto News April 1981

Other promotions in the inaugural weeks included model train displays and free balloons for kids young and old.

According to the advertising there are
 spaces here for 950 cars in this one stop shop.
Photo by Ron Hutchings in the Minto News.

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