Parks & Open Spaces

(Jim) Cavill Avenue

Australia / The Pacific

Cavill Avenue was named after James Freeman ‘Jim’ Cavill (1861-1952), a Brisbane hotelier. Previously it was called Meyer’s Ferry Road. Cavill was originally a hairdresser but in 1925 he acquired 25 acres here and built a hotel, named Surfers Paradise Hotel, with extensive private gardens and even a zoo. A great promoter of the Elston area, he drummed up support to have the name changed to Surfers Paradise (after his hotel) in 1933, another proposed name being Sea Glint. Much later, in 1958, a journalist dubbed Elston “The Gold Coast” and the name became official.The eastern end of Cavill Avenue is known as Cavill Mall and is the commercial centre of Surfers Paradise. Jim Cavill died at his hotel in March 1952. Near the beach is a bronze sculpture by Frederic Berjot, commemorating Al Baldwin (1929-2004), a colourful much married character known as “The Suntan Man”, as he ran a beach hire business and as an extra, sprayed his customers with suntan lotion, sometimes 12 litres a day. It is estimated that he sprayed about three million girls in a period of 30 years.

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