Monthly Archives: March 2015

Five For Friday – what’s happening in Warrandyte (March 27)

1. Attack of the Bloods! Footy’s back, well, not the real stuff, but practice matches kicking off all weekend for the Warrandyte Footbal Club (at Panton Hill on Saturday) and the Warrandyte Junior Football Club this Sunday (29th March) against Whitehorse Colts. The schedule is as follows: Main Oval and Small Oval: 08:30am – u12s u8s/u9s, 10am – u13s, u10s, 11:30am – u14s, u11s, 1:30pm – u15s, 3:30pm – Colts. Get on down and support the mighty Bloods!

2. Penny For Your Follies at the Mechanics Institute hall in Yarra Street. Seriously, who needs to go to the city for the theatre? We’ve got the best out here! March 28, April 9-10-11. Get your tickets, it’s a fun-filled show.

3. Blatant plug for an advertiser No.1 – Had a tasting yet at Warrandyte Cellars at the Bridge Arcade Shops? Get there tonight from 5pm-8pm and check out their range.

4. Blatant plug for an advertiser No.2 – Our beautiful Altair Restaurant is having a corker of a Good Friday special:  open for dinner on Friday 3rd April serving a Seafood Tasting Menu of 6 courses for $90p.p. Matching wine additional $46p.p.
7pm arrival for a 7:30pm start. (closed Easter Sunday and Easter Monday).

5. Rock on at the Warrandyte RSL on Sunday from 4pm-8pm. Paulie Bignell and the Thornbury Two, rock n’ blues. BYO food platter welcome.

Five For Friday (festival weekend)

1. Is there anything else to do but rock up to the annual Warrandyte Festival starting tonight and running all weekend? No, indeed not. Let’s party and soak up the wonderful atmosphere! Weather gods are smiling too. Tomorrow: 23 and sunshine. Sunday: 27 and sunshine. Check it out online

2. The Grand Read is back. Tuesday March 24 is the night as a line-up of award-winning poets and writers read their works upstairs at the Grand Hotel Warrandyte from 7.15pm (for a 7.30pm start). Presented by Warrandyte Neighbourhood House.

3. Warrandyte Theatre Company presents Penny For Your Follies, rip-roaring fun at the Warrandyte Mechanics Institute from March 19-20-21-26-27-28 and April 9-10-11. For more visit here

4. Ready for Prep? Wednesday from 7pm-8pm, it’s Anderson’s Creek Primary School’s information evening for Foundation (Preps) 2016. We love our schools, and newcomers we promise you’ll love ACPS.

5. The 31st Rotary Warrandyte Art Show is on all weekend at the Warrandyte Community Church in Yarra Street. Check out some beautiful paintings.

 

Five For Friday (March 13)

1. For goodness sake don’t walk under a ladder and trip over a black cat! It’s Friday the 13th! But Saturday offers a much sweeter proposition with the Strawberry Fair at St Anne’s in Park Orchards, so grab your slap bands and dive into the giant superslide, trackless train, cha cha and more. Oh yeah, and there’ll be strawberry treats galore.

2. Warrandyte RSL is rocking up a storm tonight from 8pm with Rodeo Clowns, while the Grand Hotel will be pumping to the tunes of Peter Grant.

3. Warranwood Art Show is on all weekend at Oak Hall at the Melbourne Rudolph Steiner School in Wonga Rd from 10am-4pm – unmissable. Some fantastic art on display and for sale, visit www.warrandwoodartshow.com.au for more info.

4. BLATANT PLUG for a loyal Diary advertiser – Billanook College is offering student led tour of the campus on Thursday from 10.30am, so RSVP by contacting the registrar on 9724 1179.

5. The flags are up, the program is in the Diary available online and at Quinton’s IGA, and excitement is at bursting point. Yes, save your money, your appetite and your energy for the greatest annual festival on the planet next weekend – the Warrandyte Festival!

When strange things happen

PLOTTING my original ABC-TV four-part drama Marion, I was determined to cover my tracks. I set the story amongst the tall timber of East Gippsland, far from my first one-teacher experience in the Mallee.

I made the beginner teacher a woman. I placed it in the time of my own childhood – 1942.

But hidden forces were at work.

As I wandered through the wonderful, accurate and evocative studio sets, prior to the commencement of the first day of studio filming in the ABC studios in Ripponlea, I found one period element that jarred.

In the apparently faultless set representing the interior of the school committee president’s farmhouse there was a telephone. But it didn’t look right; too exotic. It had been hired from a noted collector, an Ericsson model from the 1920s. Then I looked closer at the telephone number. It was Rainbow 192D. The phone number of our first school residence was Rainbow 192U, the other instrument on a two-party line. Inauthentic indeed!

A few of the actors had wandered on set by this time and when I pointed out this remarkable ‘coincidence’ they looked askance: actors are a superstitious lot. But I was assured that the telephone was exactly right.

Some years later, Judy and I spent a few nights as guests of the farming couple who were secretary of the Mothers’ Club and School Committee president during the years when I was their teacher. The school had closed and been demolished by this time.

I told the story of the strange phone. Saying nothing, our host left us for a few minutes, returning with the records of the school committee during 1942 – there was the name of the president – and his telephone number: Rainbow 192U!

Several years later, colleague and good friend Howard Griffiths and I were commissioned by the ABC to adapt the epic novel Power Without Glory. We broke the book into 26 parts, shaped each into a separate episode and wrote the first episode together, then assembled a team of four or five writers to script the series.

The morning after the first episode went to air nationally, two doctors – a pediatrician and a gynaecologist – were opening their joint practice in far-off suburban Perth. They were discussing the previous night’s TV viewing.

“That Power Without Glory” looks like a good show,” one commented. “Yes, my brother-in-law wrote the script,” one of them said proudly. “No, my brother-inlaw wrote the script,” countered the other.

They were both right. The gynaecologist was married to my wife Judy’s sister, the pediatrician was married to Howard’s wife’s sister!

A year or two later again, a niece of mine was working as a nurse at an HIV clinic in Sydney. She and the social worker in the clinic had become close friends. They were discussing Picnic at Hanging Rock, which they had seen separately. “My uncle wrote the screenplay, one of them proclaimed. “No, my uncle wrote it,” the other argued.

They were both right. The nurse was my sister’s daughter, the social worker was my wife’s brother’s daughter! They had become firm friends not knowing they were related by marriage. Forty years later they are still firm friends.

I secured the job on Picnic because of where I live. Author Joan Lindsay had right of approval of producer, director and screenwriter. Pat Lovell and Peter Weir had passed muster, now it was my turn. We met for lunch at the ABC canteen in Ripponlea.

“Where do you live?” was Joan’s first question. “Warrandyte,” I replied. “Then that will be all right,” she said. “Someone from Warrandyte will understand what that book’s all about!”

It turned out that of all plac- es, Warrandyte was special to Joan. She had been especially close to Penleigh Boyd, the renowned Warrandyte artist who was her cousin. She had often visited his family when she was an art student, I even heard that she met her future husband Daryl Lindsay here in Warrandyte.

“How did you get to Warrandyte in those days?” I asked. “Why, by train to Ringwood,” she answered. “Then on to Warrandyte in a horse-drawn drag.”

“That drag was operated by a Mr Bill Hussey?” I said.

“I don’t remember his name,” she answered “Well, he’s in the book, except he’s Ben Hussey.” (Ben drove the girls on their fateful journey to Hanging Rock.) “Bill Hussey was our son-in-law’s grandfather!”

“Well,” Joan countered with a twinkle, “strange things happen, don’t they?”