Time changes everything; people grow old, families move out, new building get built, etc. Sometimes, this includes seeing long time businesses having to close. This solemn, thankful message was the last message ever displayed in Putt Putt Ermington’s Happy Birthday sign, as the beloved mini-golf course closed down after forty-eight years in operation, last Sunday, the 30th of April, before the Sydney removalists came in and closed the place for good.
The local business was like many in their local communities; they were not simply service providers or unfeeling corporate entities, but considered as part of the identity that makes living in the area so unique. Putt Putt had been in operation in the suburb of Ermington for nearly 5 decades, and had been known to residents throughout the greater Sydney area.
As one would expect from a small business with such a reputation in the local community, dozens upon dozens of visitors from around the area came to visit the mini golf course as a final farewell to the amusement centre. Amidst the crowds of people were visitors who had been there before, hoping to bid the course a fond final farewell, and children brought along by their parents, enjoying the course once before it was to be closed down.
The final onset of visitors during the course’s final moments will, hopefully, preserve the joyful memory and spirit of the local business, established nearly five decades ago in the Sydney suburb.
The joyous atmosphere, was greeted with melancholy truth, as the crowds of visitors were soon replaced by crowds of Sydney removalists, tasked with taking the courses down and ensuring that any equipment was properly disposed of. Putt Putt’s iconic smiling golf ball statue, like many iconic small town business symbols, was bought by a local resident following the closing down of the courses.
Some of the course’s special features, like its lighthouse, pelicans and monkey, will be joining the manager, Kim Whybro as she takes her new post at the Mermaid Beach Golf Course at Gold Coast.
For a local, it’s always sad to see such an iconic local business shut down after years of operation, but such moments are, thankfully treated by the locals as moments for commemorating the local businesses for what they have done for the community.