Hello from the Editor
WELCOME to the sixth issue of Manningham Life.
It’s also our first-anniversary issue! To celebrate, we’re taking a walk down the memory lane of this place we love, first proclaimed as a city in 1967. Many organisations were established to support the growing population in the new City of Doncaster-Templestowe. Some are in their 50th year of operation and are featured in this issue. Ben Frawley grew up in Templestowe, and his story captures an idyllic childhood of a bygone era (page 4). Julie Parkes writes about the babysitting club she started in 1971 (page 6). Peter Gurry reminisces about his time as the principal of Templestowe Primary and Templestowe Heights Primary School (page 9). In preparing this issue, I received much help from the Doncaster-Templestowe Historical Society; Ken Smith has kindly compiled the key events between 1967 and 1977 (page 5). We’re also very grateful to the Country Women’s Association of Victoria for sharing an apple recipe from their cookbook, first published in 1965 (page 12). I chatted with Gary of Egons Cakeshop (page 9) and Joe Klein, who had a long involvement with basketball in Bulleen (page 11). We started this publication last year — arguably one of the most challenging years in recent memory — to help connect our community. Under difficult circumstances, we published and delivered five issues to 20,000 homes in Manningham. We want to strengthen Manningham Life so we can continue to keep our community informed and connected through a good quality local publication. To that end, we are launching Friends of Manningham Life, our community of supporters. Currently, we are supported by local businesses through advertising and residents who contribute their time and skills. If you value Manningham Life and are in a position to contribute to keeping us going, we would greatly appreciate your support. You will get our magazines delivered directly to your home and enjoy perks such as an annual Manningham Life morning tea. For more information, please turn to page 13. A big thank you to everyone who helped make this issue possible. Enjoy! Stella Editor
Growing up in Templestowe
Recently I was reminiscing with friends on Facebook about growing up in Templestowe during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Everyone in the discussion had warm and fond memories of their ‘Tempy’ days. The Yarra was often discussed, and it’s not surprising. It formed a big part of our youth, as we spent many long summer days swimming and just “hanging out” there. It was a natural playground. We owned it and relished the freedom it provided to explore limits, exhaust the endless energy of teenagers, and forget our struggles. I remember a tall gum tree leaning over the brown flowing river, inviting us to climb it. After it surrendered to our breathtaking ascents, we would “pin” drop into the murky water below, holding our bodies as straight as we could, feet first. Two seconds of ecstasy before the shock of icy brown water assaulted our senses. We didn’t know what dangers lurked beneath the surface. Miraculously, no one was ever hurt. Our favourite meeting place was Westerfolds before it was a public park. The ‘Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted’ sign beckoned us into Westerfolds when it used to be a farm. There were cows, horses and even camels. I remember being chased by a bull there once. I don’t remember running as fast, fear and adrenaline producing a gold medal hurdle over a barbed wire fence in one bound. The bull, at least, was enforcing the prohibition on entry. Our discussions also featured the freedoms we enjoyed as kids. We rode our bikes anywhere, walked long distances to and from school, visited each other’s houses at will, played cricket and footy in the streets, climbed trees, built cubby houses in the neighbouring paddocks, rode horses and minibikes and the more adventurous went yabbying and fishing in the Yarra and Ruffey Creek. We “owned” the streets, the shops and the landscape until the street lights came on, and we knew we had to be home. I remember the great raft race. It was an annual event where rafts would be launched at Fitzsimons Lane and float to Finns Reserve. Local businesses and clubs would each build a raft, and I remember as many as 50 racing down the Yarra. It was a time when the whole community would come together, lining the banks of the river to watch the race of a lifetime! We loved to hurl flour bombs at those on the water. I loved Guy Fawkes nights. During the year, people would drag branches and garden offcuts to the nearby paddock, so the pile was metres high on the big night. Once lit, it seemed like the largest “bonnie” you would ever see, the heat so intense your skin melted if you got too close. Parents would gather around, flagons of wine in hand, chatting in the warmth of the fire until the wee hours, cursing us as fireworks would whizz and whoosh out of the fire in random directions. Again, I am amazed that no one was ever hurt. On Saturday mornings, the ‘Tempy’ folk would run into each other at the local shopping strip, hastily stocking up for the weekend before the shops shut at 12.00 pm, only reopening on Monday morning. Dad would race up to buy a flagon of wine from Spiro, the local bottle shop owner. Whilst alcohol was a motivator, for Dad, the ritual was only complete after he’d had the opportunity to chat with others. Most people either knew or recognised each other’s faces. It was a tight-knit community. I remember hotter and longer summers, the smell of rain on asphalt after a hot spell. I remember milk being delivered by horse and cart; empty glass bottles were swapped for full ones by a brave milkman in all seasons while we slept in the warmth of our beds. I remember the tops of the bottles freezing on cold days and the shiny foil tops being pierced by other locals — greedy magpies searching for the cream. I remember home-delivered Tip Top bread and Loy’s soft drinks.
Bulleen - Lower Templestowe Babysitting Club (1971- 1986)
The club was formed on the 16 June 1971, at a meeting held at my home. The seven founding members were: Julie Parkes, Eileen Madigan, Elaine Jacobsen, Valerie Avent, Margaret Craven, Judy Gray and Judith Wild. This was how the club worked: Members who babysit earned one point per 15 minutes. Those points went into the sitter’s ‘bank’ and were deducted from the bank of the host member. Host families would leave a small supper for the sitter and an instruction sheet on caring for their children, e.g. time of lights out, any special conditions, emergency numbers, the TV instructions and any ‘caveats’ about the quirks of our 70s houses! A secretary would volunteer each year to hold the books, acting as a liaison and keeping careful check of the points totals. They would also choose a venue for the annual dinner, send out those invitations, and make sure the event went off without a hitch. The membership grew slowly as we decided that the club would only accept new families on the recommendation of current members. By the middle of 1972, we had a membership of around 30 families. However, throughout the 15 years of its operation, 79 families have been club members. We agreed that our babysitters should be given as much support as possible so that whilst the parents were away from their children, all concerned would have a pleasant experience. So every year, we held an Annual Meeting at which matters that concerned members were discussed and a list of ‘rules’ or ‘guidelines’ was refined and assembled. It was always a lovely evening of great fellowship and a delicious supper. There were heated discussions on topics such as whether babysitters should sleep and then whether they should be allowed ‘vertical napping’ or, as one (male) sitter had done, to stretch out and snore on the spare bed! As the years rolled on and the children were past the ‘nappies and bottles’ stage, most families were happy to have the dads do the sitting, and this added a different dimension! The husbands, as usual, not wanting to read the list of instructions, made up their own babysitting plans as they went, much to the delight of the children. One couple driving past their home after picking up friends on their way to dinner was startled to see their son in pyjamas fielding a soccer ball in the bushes on the side of Bulleen Road. The children reported a ‘great game’ of ‘kick to kick’ with the babysitting dad! Many of the now grown-up children can still recall the special times they had with babysitters, including one mum who helped her make a necklace and another dad who spent hours setting up and playing a construction game. As we, the parents, were of much the same age (and as the group did not grow with the addition of younger families), the membership gradually shrank until the club books showed only 16 active members. The final Annual General Meeting was convened on 7 July 1986. At that meeting: ‘The view was unanimously expressed that we have greatly appreciated the friendly atmosphere and cooperative spirit of the club, and it is with regret that we have voted to disband.’ The final meeting resolved to invite all past members to attend a reunion dinner each year. The tradition continues.
Manningham Council Report
Feb - March 2022
As part of Manningham Council’s guiding four-year plan, the establishment of a Youth Advisory Committee is seen as a priority. February saw the fruition of much planning and recruitment work by Council officers. Thirteen young and diverse Manningham residents were selected from a pool of 21 applicants. Across their year of appointment, they will provide Council with an important perspective into the priorities and needs of Manningham’s younger residents. Members of the committee will also gain valuable exposure to local governance and experience of sitting on a committee. In March, Council formally established three new committees: Gender Equality & LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee Multicultural Communities Advisory Committee Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee These advisory committees are critical to Council, serving as an important window into the issues facing specific groups within the community. These committees and the Disability Advisory Committee will be seeking expressions of interest from Manningham residents of these communities to apply. Though committees cannot make their own decisions, Manningham’s councillors engage with these groups as a “formal mechanism” to receive guidance from the respective communities. Over the last few months of meetings, budget and spending became an issue again. Manningham continues to hold an enviable financial position amongst municipal councils, with over $96 million in cash and cash investments and net assets totalling just over $2.3 billion. In March, a Footpath Priority Plan was unanimously approved, adding more transparency to the Council’s selection of footpath projects and providing more weight to resident requests. In explaining this policy update, councillors agreed the priority was to ensure all roads had a safe footpath on at least one side. Unanimity on spending questions was more difficult to find outside of this policy, with disagreements over funding creating divisive debate in both February and March. In February, Cr Stephen Mayne attempted to increase funding to local community houses such as Ajani through a late motion. Interestingly, in the December meeting, he had stated that a motion of this type amounted to “poor governance”. In December’s meeting, funding for community houses was unanimously agreed to after going through a rigorous approvals process as part of Manningham’s four-year Community Partnership Grants Program. However, the funding recommended by Council officers was less than that which was awarded in previous years. Cr Mayne’s motion was eventually deemed misleading in language, suggesting that funding had been intentionally cut. Cr Carli Lange instead proposed a report be prepared so that appropriate funding could be determined through established processes by Council officers. During Council proceedings, reports are often presented that require a procedural vote to note them in the record. One such was an update on Manningham’s capital works program, currently on track to deliver 86% of budgeted works. Given the difficulties facing construction industries over the last year, including supply chain issues, lockdowns and labour shortages, Cr Anna Chen commended Council employees on reaching this level. Cr Stephen Mayne, citing being “personally scarred by four years in a row [of] overpromising” on capital works (during his time as a councillor at the City of Melbourne), made clear that this under-completion was unacceptable. He then proposed a $500,000 spend on sports nets. Unusually, this proposal was added as an amendment to the initial motion to note the report, suddenly adding a half-million-dollar spend. Argument again ensued, with Cr Geoff Gough intoning with a raised voice that the budget did not “disappear” at the end of the financial year and that it was common for unfinished and multi-year projects to be rolled into the next budget. Crs Anna Chen and Andrew Conlon proposed a further amendment to this proposed funding for sports nets to be expanded to also consider “street furnishings” such as park seating. However, this was struck down as too broad. Cr Stephen Mayne’s late sports net funding amendment was also voted down for not having gone through the proper process. Continuing with unusual happenings in the March meeting, Cr Mayne then voted against the original motion to note the progress of capital works in the record. The initial motion passed 8-1.
Egons Cake Shop
Egons Cake Shop is a much-loved local institution, but did you know that Egon Cyganek came to Victoria on a contract to build railways? That was back in 1952, and young Egon, twenty at the time, signed up to work for Victorian Railways for two years. He was one of the “Berlin Boys” amongst a batch of young men from more than fifteen nationalities who built our regional railway lines. After completing his contract, Egon stayed on and worked at Henry’s Cake Shop in Heidelberg Mall for twelve years. In 1971, the opportunity came up for Egon to open his own cake shop in the current spot in Macedon Square, and he grabbed it. With his wife Karin, Egon, trained as a pastry cook in Berlin, started the first bakery in the area. They mainly made Australian cakes and pies because those products suited the young market. At that time, many young families were moving into the newly-created housing estates, which had sprung up from subdivided orchards. Many residents who grew up in the area have fond memories of Egon’s pies and doughnuts. Egon’s son Gary followed in his father’s footsteps. He joined full-time at the cake shop in 1976 while studying pastry-making at William Angliss College. Gary was awarded “Apprentice of the Year” in 1980 and, in 1990, took over the running of the business. Gary and Egon then opened up a very successful cake shop on 8 Collins St in the city. They sold the shop in 2017. Gary and his staff had plans to celebrate the shop’s 50th-anniversary last year, but the on-going pandemic put paid to that. These days, Egons Cake Shop offers a large range of bread, cakes and pies, including German favourites such as Bienenstich, Berlin bread rolls and Berliner doughnuts. Egon, who turns 90 this year, continues to come to the shop and helps out where he can. Next time you’re in Macedon Square, why not pop in and say hello?
Basketball in Bulleen
In 1972 Jim Klein and his wife, Mary, moved to Yarraleen, a small domestic pocket in Bulleen. A neighbour asked Jim if he knew anyone who could play basketball. Jim volunteered that he had played top basketball in Ballarat but had not played for years. He was willing to sign up for the Yarraleen over thirty-five if the competition was not too serious. That was the start of Bulleen basketball for Jim, an association that would last over 50 years. At that time, the local base consisted of one court at the Sheahans Road tennis courts and park. When the stalwarts of the Yarraleen squad passed into their fifties, they decided to establish a men’s and a women’s team to participate in the Australian Masters Games. The response from the local players was overwhelming, and they took players to the first Australian Masters in Perth in teams from over 35 to over 50. The Committee included several Yarraleen residents such as Jack Gibson, John Warton, Ashton Wallace, John Reilly, Don Roberts, and Jim in the early days. They organised everything, including uniforms, players, team registration, accommodation for players and family members and a club dinner. At this stage, the participation in the Australian Masters Games was on a local club level, and they had learnt that the internationals had considerable numbers of retired professionals in their ranks. Jim recalls, “the competition was of a far higher calibre than we expected. I believe we played against national teams from Europe, Russian satellites and America. We were at this stage all amateur teams and seemed to do better in the older age groups.” When the Myths and Legends Club — made up of retired local professionals and well-known names like Eddie Palabinscus, John Heard and Mike Dancis (who played in the 1956 Olympics) — struggled to get players, they invited a few Bulleen players to join them. Subsequently, the Bulleen Masters Teams, in the appropriate age groups, amalgamated with the Myths and Legends, retaining the Myths and Legends name but establishing their base in Bulleen. The original Bulleen squad participated as a vital part of the Myths and Legends in nearly every subsequent national and international Masters Games, winning numerous medals. Despite these successes, Jim’s most satisfying tournament was watching* the Bulleen girls win the Australian Under 14 National Championship. His granddaughter, Isobel Anderson, was voted the most valuable player. *edited 2 June 2022 Today Jim still lives with Mary in Bulleen in the same house he built and is happy to watch his grandchildren, Isobel and Sid, play basketball for Bulleen. However, the family forbids him to talk to the coaches, so he chats to the players’ parents. And that was how I came to know of Jim’s long and notable involvement with basketball in Bulleen.