Sunday, October 04, 2015

Scouts in schools?

from w
I was interested to read a statement that scouting should be in all schools. Okay, scouts is a good movement but is it for boys AND girls in Fiji?  Who would run the programs if it was compulsory in schools?  Who would find the costs? I don't think the speaker thought it through.  Of course it's great for youngsters to learn bush skills and self-reliance. In fact in the olden days the Labasa scouts would go out into the bush for a weekend armed only with a cane-knife - no bedding, no extra clothes, no food, only a knife and they had to find bush tucker, make a shelter and so on.  Nowadays I think scouting is much softer.  Peceli was a scout as a boy and much later was a chaplain to the scouts in Geelong at one stage. Our three boys were scouts and attended jamborees, two of them in Fiji locations. Our grandchildren aren't in scouts though, because there are so many sporting options for them.
 Scouting is very good, but it could hardly be made compulsory in schools.

Ministry confirms scouting as compulsory 2016 program

Talebula Kate
Monday, October 05, 2015

Minister for Education Dr Mahendra Reddy, right, during the Scouts district rally at Krisna Vedic School on Saturday night. Picture: SOLOMONE RABULU
SCOUTING will be compulsory in all primary schools from next year.
Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Dr Mahendra Reddy made the confirmation while officiating as chief guest at the Nausori Scout council district rally on Saturday night. He said every child would be exposed to the basic skills they learnt out of the scouting movement. "If we don't do this, we will be lacking in our responsibility to develop better citizens," he said. "Scouting is about building better citizens of the country. The whole movement is designed to prepare you for life beyond your comfort zones; for life you may face with without your parents and loved ones and maybe very independent," he said.
Scouting, he said was how the children would learn the little tricks and tips in life to ensure their growth, development and to become independent and better citizens of the country.

Dr Reddy commended the organisers of the rally for having it after the Fiji Intermediate and Fiji Eighth Year exams. "This one is organised at a time when we want it to be, after Year 6 and Year 8 exams."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Artist down Airey's Inlet way

from w
A small item in today's Geelong Advertiser supplement about an art exhibition down the coast at Fairhaven listed Eddie Warhurst as one of the artists. Well, that's great. Eddie and his wife Nancye were colleagues when we studied art - was it really about sixty years ago! High school art teachers of course - and now in retirement Eddie is doing lovely paintings of birds, animals, the sea - and the Mallee - the place where many of us came from. His website shows a great gallery - and here are two examples.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spare Meals - what a good idea

from w
There are several ways of helping to feed neighbours in the Geelong community and here is one I hadn't heard of before.  Spare Meals.  The story is in the Geelong Advertiser.


Jodie  Whittaker:  Generosity  feeds  a  community  need

·         SEPTEMBER 22, 2015 10:00AM
Spare Meals Geelong founder Tina Taylor.
LONG ago, my husband and I scrimped and saved for our house deposit.
Despite enormous financial restrictions, we were immensely proud to establish a home we’d one day own. Eating two-minute noodles or baked beans was a way of life.
We were warmly welcomed into our new area. As time passed, our cosmopolitan neighbourhood regularly celebrated special events and commiserated during hard times. The strong community network was forged over shared tasty, exotic foods, prepared with love. Our financial struggles made these feasts even more special.
Across the road from us lived the most beautiful elderly Italian couple, Antonio and Concetta, whose property erupted with a vast array of delicious fruits and vegetables. They helped us enormously by contributing some of their bounty. That generosity enabled the creation of tasty, low-cost, nourishing foods, especially valued during the leaner years.
Our community still bands together with food in support for one another. It’s not uncommon to see a neighbour walking around the street with a pot of soup, a lasagne or curry.
When a new child arrives, if it’s suspected someone might be having a tough time, as community members are unwell or should someone seem over stretched or unable to prepare meals for themselves, we still share our food and nourish the neighbourhood.
The internet has changed our notion of community. Having online access means the number of locals in our region that we can interact with is dramatically higher.
Thanks to a heart-warming, innovative idea, neighbourhood food sharing practices occur on a much, much larger scale. Spare Meals Geelong is a Facebook page encouraging community food sharing.
Just over a year ago, the group’s founder, Tina Taylor, noticed a huge range of “free stuff” online pages, where people with useful but unwanted items could give them away. She realised the same concept could be used for excess food.
All too often clearing out the pantry, over ordering, making a meal fussy eaters refuse to touch or having an overly productive veggie garden, means good food ends up in the bin.
Rather than having casserole five days in a row, Spare Meals Geelong shares it with any one in need.
Spare Meals Geelong rehomes good unwanted ingredients and cooked meals so nourishing food isn’t wasted. The group of volunteers operate the page, which has almost 3600 members.
Spare Meals Geelong eases the burden on other regional food support providers by giving local people doing it tough free emergency food support.
Every week, volunteers create, source and share up to 500 meals through registered community kitchens and store food across distribution sites. There’s presently more than enough food to assist everyone who needs it.
One of the Spare Meals Geelong Facebook site administrators, Kristy Cooper explained it works.
“We just look at it is as good old Aussie mateship. For anyone who could do with some assistance putting food onto their table. There’s no judgment and no need to explain your situation. You don’t need to provide concession entitlements, ID or meet any criteria,” she said.
To get help, simply join the Spare Meals Geelong Facebook site and inbox an administrator. They’ll help arrange a time for you to collect your meals from one of the collection points dotted across Geelong. The service is a private, discreet and respectful way to receive assistance without judgment or embarrassment.
Ms Cooper said that all Spare Meals Geelong asks for in return is that once the person’s situation improves they pay the favour forward and share some food with others in need.
“That might be with providing a small supermarket gift card, sharing the page or remembering us with any excess from a future freezer clear out.”
The biggest challenge Spare Meals Geelong faces is a shortage of containers to store and deliver meals.
“To continue feeding our people in need, the group would really appreciate any freezer and microwave safe containers. Clear out your plastics cupboard and we’ll happily accept your excess containers,” Ms Cooper said.
Rectangular take-away style containers are ideal, but any suitable containers, or financial contributions towards their purchase, would be greatly appreciated.
For additional information or to contribute to Spare Meals Geelong’s outstanding work, please join their Facebook site.

- Jodie Whittaker is a freelance writer. She is an alumna of Deakin University and interned with the Geelong Advertiser. Follow her on Twitter @Whittaker_Jodie

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dancing at the Palais

from w
In a few weeks time I'm running a Writing Memoirs group for Seniors Week/Month and part of that will involve looking at photos of the past to trigger memory, such as this article about the Palais where all the young people used go dancing.
To see the pictures go to

Picture the Past: Dancing the night away at Geelong’s 1960s live music venues

·         PETER BEGG
·         SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 3:26PM
Square dancing at the Palais Royal. Picture: Argus Collection
GEELONG’s  Palais theatre on Moorabool St hill was one of the city’s few live music ven­ues in the 1960s. Some would remember such names as singers Barry Crocker, Frankie Davidson and John Newman (not the footballer) who got their start there.But among the acts to appear at the Palais back then were the Allen Brothers, featuring none other than The Boy From Oz Peter Allen, whose life was also the subject of a miniseries Not the Boy Next Door which concluded on Sunday night on Channel 7.
Singer Peter Allen with his partner Chris Bell.
The Allen Brothers comprised Allen and his offsider Chris Bell, and they appeared back in the days when brothers Don and Laurie Slack ran the Palais. The Slacks sold it in 1972.
The Palais Royal opened its doors in 1926 and some of the materials used in its construction came from the former Joy Ark dance hall which was built out over Corio Bay at Eastern Beach. The parquetry dance floor was said to have been one of the biggest in Australia.
The Palais was also used as a cinema, but its boom years were from the 1940s to the 1970s.
During World War II it attracted many Australian and American servicemen stat­ioned here and dances were held four nights a week.
The late ’40s was the era of the big bands, and the Palais was the place to go in Geelong to hear bands playing covers of the big names such as Glenn Miller.
The Max Taylor Big Band played at the Palais in the early 1960s, as did the Levis, who formed in 1962.
Later came Grasshopper with Greg Bee on guitar and vocals.

These days the parquetry holds tables lined up for bingo sessions, although there are plans to redevelop it into an entertainment complex with a theatre and function centre.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

North Shore Geelong

After a visit in Lara we drove back via North Shore which is 90% industrial with only a few streets of housing and a small beach. Of course there's an exclusive school in the area - separated by grassy fields of course - that's Geelong Grammar.  Here are a few pictures I took this afternoon about the time of sunset.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anakie "Fairy Park after dark

Someone had the initiative to spend a night out at Anakie at the Fairy Park to see if there were ghosts and scary things.
Go to

But I think what's scarier is a huge silver Christmas tree stalking down Yarra Street to eat up the cars!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Tree in Newcomb

from w
Sometimes when we are returning from a supermarket in Newcomb we notice this tree with the twisted branches as we turn a corner. I had my camera today so took a photo.