Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

The Pineapple is 50, does that make Sami old too?

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

The Pineapple is 50, does that make Sami old too?


The Big Pineapple is turning 50 and that makes Sami Muirhead feel old

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A special leading lady turned 50 this week. She is tart and prickly, and yet adored across the region — the Big Pineapple.

I have the best memories of going there as a seven-year-old kid and having a banana split with chocolate sauce, ice-cream and chopped nuts on the exotic creation.

A few years later, my mum took me again and I had a passionfruit parfait that began my lifelong love affair with passion fruit. The iconic Big Pineapple had such pulling power at one stage, even Princess Diana went there in 1983.

What I adore about those photos of the historic moment is that Diana is wearing yellow as a tribute to the pineapple fields in Nambour. The People’s Princess loved to dress in a theme. How wonderful the carriage they rode in has been rediscovered and is now on display for us all to see.

At its peak in the ’80s, up to 800,000 people would visit the Big Pineapple every year.

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I am feeling old with the news our local icon is five decades old. Mark Wahlberg, Lance Armstrong, Sacha Baron Cohen, Snoop Dog, Winona Ryder, Christina Applegate, Ricky Martin and Denise Richards are also turning 50 this year.

But the celebrity who shocked me the most with her age is Jenna Elfman. Who, you may be asking? Dharma people, from Dharma and Greg. Yes, the free-spirited yoga teacher who fell in love with the conservative solicitor.

It was the best TV show of the 1990s in my opinion. Well, maybe it was a tie between Sex and The City and Ally McBeal and Friends. They were the days, weren’t they? Drinking a cosmopolitan and eating seven-layer dip thinking, this is as fancy as life could ever get!

And a real splurge while you watched one episode of your favourite show (and had to wait an entire week for the next instalment) was Toobs and Pollywaffles. Good times, indeed!