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A sixteen-year-old employee at an ice-cream stall within Summerland, Greg Joughin was on duty on the evening of the fire in 1973.

He only started work at Summerland a matter of weeks earlier, first washing up in the kitchen, and then out near the entrance at the ice-cream kiosk. His hope was to progress to work at the Carousel Bar, further into the building, but it was lucky that he was not working there on the evening of 2 August 1973.

Greg here describes how word came to them that a fire had started not far away, so he wandered out to take a look. It was while there outside, that the fire at the hut by the mini golf course spread to the Oroglas wall of the building, and the whole place went up in flames.

Greg was able to get away safely without returning inside the building, by jumping a small fence and walking away, but he was witness to something of the horror inside by the building by those being rescued.

Greg goes on to describe the strange holes in his memories from his 20-minute walk down the promenade, characterising it as if he had been in something of ‘a daze.’ This feeling continued on his return home and the next few days and beyond.

This interview was conducted as a part of the Summerland Remembered project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Summerland Fire on 2nd August 1973.


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  • Greg Joughin interviewed by James Franklin (23 March 2023)