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OUR SAY: Change not always for the best

Close up of a young woman's hand typing text message on her smartphone. African young woman is typing on touch screen mobile phone. Close up of female hand texting a message phone outdoor.
Close up of a young woman's hand typing text message on her smartphone. African young woman is typing on touch screen mobile phone. Close up of female hand texting a message phone outdoor. Ridofranz

MY four-year-old son looks at me with quizzical eyes when my camera screen doesn't move as he swipes his finger across.

No son, they didn't have touchscreens when I was growing up.

I can't wait until I explain to my now seven-year-old that I couldn't 'Facebook' my friends of an afternoon, nor even leave them a message. How did we survive?

Such is the rate of technological change in such a short space of my short life, that it's hard to comprehend what Stella Wiblen has seen as she approaches 100.

It might not be her 100th birthday until Monday, but Stella Wiblen is getting in a bit of practice before the big day.
It might not be her 100th birthday until Monday, but Stella Wiblen is getting in a bit of practice before the big day. Adam Hourigan

Born in the midst of a war, growing up through a depression, two more major conflicts and then a technological revolution, the depth of her experience is something to be marvelled at.

And while we assume change is always for the better, it was while driving through Toowoomba last fortnight that I was reminded that not all change in the modern world is for the best.

I marvel at Queensland's regional towns, often much bigger than here, and their wide open streets and heritage design.

An aerial of Grafton.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
An aerial of Grafton.Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

Everything looks so grand and it instantly reminded me of a book we collaborated on with the Grafton Historical Society some years ago.

It included comparative photos of Grafton's historic streetscapes and what it has transformed into.

Gone are many of the old facades, replaced by aluminium and concrete in the streets.

Hopefully we have enough people with memories like Stella that can slowly bring back the beauty of our main areas.

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