On a small block of land in the Strathbogie ranges sit the municipal facilities of Boho South: a public hall, bitumen tennis court (BYO net), and public toilet.
And what a toilet! Compact yet sturdy, the no-nonsense concrete block construction is a quintessential classic of Australian public toilet design.
Care has been taken where it matters—not on perfectly aligning the bricks, removing excess mortar, or neatly applying paint, but on building a functional, symmetrical dunny block that is largely open to the elements, allowing patrons maximum opportunity to soak in the bush surrounds whilst keeping cleaning costs to a minimum.
A gently sloping tin roof provides protection and privacy where required, and a septic tank vent is wisely placed over the male section of the facilities.
While this toilet is, in the author’s opinion, at its best on a hot, sunny day, a single centred floodlight ensures adequate illumination of both male and female facilities on busier nights, as it was on Friday, 26 November 1915, when the Boho South Public Hall was “filled to overflowing” welcoming Private Herbert James home from the First World War, as reported by the Violet Town Sentinel.
Cheers were called for in honour of Private James, which were “long and prolonged”. “Rule, Britannia” was sung, gifts were presented, and refreshments were served.
While I am uncertain whether this particular toilet block was standing at the date of this celebration, I imagine that it must have got quite the workout if so—particularly this intriguing feature in the men’s section (pictured below), which appears to be some sort of rudimentary urinal.
If I am incorrect and this is not a rudimentary urinal, I hope the local council (and any contracted cleaning staff) will accept my apologies.