ISSUE 91, FEBRUARY 2016 Distributed throughout Altona with distribution points in Altona North, Seaholme and Altona Meadows LIKE Around Altona on Facebook! Stay informed and view the paper online faster: www.facebook.com/AroundAltona MEET THE J SQUARE BROS
BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR PARENTS
THE ART OF LOVE LETTER WRITING
A NEW LEASE ON LIFE
You cannot deny that Facebook is changing the way communities interact around Australia. There was a time when people would pin notices on community news boards, but now a few clicks of a button can share the same information online, with the potential to reach thousands of people. There are groups for everything from lost pets and local news, to local photographers and buy swap and sell pages. With local online community groups well and truly in full swing, Ronel Langley was inspired to create Altona Adventurers, a Facebook group for people who wanted to exercise but did not want to do it alone. Within one hour of the group being created, it had attracted over 100 members, now approximately 260 members are part of the group, with group walks taking place every day of the week. Altona Adventurers caters for people of all ages and fitness levels, with members simply posting a date, time and location to meet. From there, people simply show up and enjoy the walk. Last month I was fortunate enough to attend a very special walk with the Altona Adventurers, in celebration of 31-year-old Rebecca Berry, who underwent a double lung transplant. In July 2012, Rebecca was told she would need the transplant within two years and her health rapidly declined. Fortunately, just four days after being put on the donor list, a suitable match was found and Rebecca underwent surgery. Support plays a huge part throughout the entire transplant process. Rebecca’s partner at the time, her now fiancé David Floyd, was and still is there to support her throughout her journey. David quit his job to become her full time carer, two months before the transplant. After 50 days of being in hospital, the transplant was deemed
a success and Rebecca was free to enjoy life. “I was looking forward to being able to walk my dogs again” Next year Rebecca will be riding in the Tour De Transplant fundraiser, a 600km bike ride along the picturesque Great Ocean Road, for the Heart and Lung Transplant Trust. “I will be riding to raise funds for the Second Chance Accommodation program run by the Heart and Lung Transplant Trust of Victoria” The program provides donor recipients and their families who live interstate, or in rural areas with a place to stay, within walking distance to the Alfred Hospital, while they receive their mandatory three-month rehabilitation program. One thing Rebecca has learnt through her transplant journey, is the importance of good health. “To the people with good health, don’t abuse it, look after it and be grateful” She also stressed the importance of organ donation, “there is no age limit for organ donation, and regardless of your health conditions, when you pass away you can still be useful, you can still help people” At the end of the walk, Ronel perfectly summed up the importance of taking steps to look after your health no matter what your fitness level, “people need to respect their health and do something to celebrate it. Just go for a walk, have an extra glass of water and laugh about something” The Tour de Transplant takes place from the 2nd to the 6th of March 2016. If you would like to donate to Rebecca Berry’s cause, please visit www.tourdetransplant2016.gofundraise.com.au/page/becberry The Altona Adventurers group can be found on Facebook. Melissa Haber
PLEASE DO NOT DISCARD - Give this paper to a friend or neighbour to read.
PUDDLING WITH THE PUBLISHER I had a call from a reader whose name is Don - he rang me
dropped by my office, we did the deal, and I now have a copy.
because he had followed my column about the film I thought
He told me he found it hard to find a copy and finally found
was really great, called ‘Being There’ with Peter Sellers. While
one in Mexico, by using our fantastic Internet system. So
he enjoyed it, he thought my description was a bit overdone
thank you ‘Don!’
and it wasn’t the world beater that I obviously thought it was. Don reminded me that I had said that if somebody didn’t think it was as good as I thought it was after reading my description, I would be happy to purchase it from them, as currently I didn’t have a copy! Don was ringing to check this out. ‘Yes’ I said, ‘It’s true, let’s do a deal’, and we did. So Don
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR After 6 weeks of school holidays, guess what!? It is time to return to the land of routine – normality will once again be back in the mix. I for one, have rather mixed emotions about this. There is a huge part of me that will be fairly pumped about getting back to the gym and not having to fill every second of every day with snacks and entertainment. The flip side is that I will miss my little girl – she really is the best human I know. January gets the official ‘beginning of the year’ title, but the reality is that until February rolls around, we are all pretty much in holiday mode still.
My birthday has just been and gone. Although each birthday, marks another year in the ageing process, I see it as a chance to celebrate all things ME!! This birthday has left me feeling quite blessed and I am so grateful for the love that I receive from all of my friends and family – I really do know all the best people. If like me, you are about to find yourself with a little more ‘Me’ time, be sure to make it count! Do the things that will make your soul sing, because a happier you, will make for happier times with your kids and that is well worth striving for! Thanks in advance, Melissa Longo
So what will I be doing with all my new found free time, once the apple of my eye returns to school? I plan on getting out into the garden, reading a little more and getting my master chef on – I really love to cook! Mostly I look forward to some quiet time to reflect upon how wonderful my life has been lately.
0408 659 940 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PINK STUMPS DAY: The Battle Between Altona and Manor Lakes Continues!
Behind every good cricket club is a great bunch of mums, wives and girlfriends, who support their cricketers. On pink stumps day, it’s all about supporting these beautiful women. Manor Lakes Cricket Club (MLCC) is stepping up to the crease to host Pink Stumps Day on Saturday the 20th February 2016, to show their support for a great cause. MLCC will be putting on a big breakfast from 8am. The Under 11a’s will kick off the day with a match against Wyndham Vale. There will be fun and games for everyone; a trailer raffle drawn at 12:45, a senior cricket match against Altona Sports and a sausage sizzle at Howqua Way Reserve, Manor Lakes. Over the past five years, thousands of teams from across Australia have come together to play and fundraise over 4.5 million dollars for the McGrath Foundation. Last year Altona Sports hosted the event and this year the tradition continues at Howqua Way Reserve. The rivalry lives on and the victor remains to be seen, but regardless of the outcome, the real winner will be the McGrath Foundation.
MLCC’s goal is to raise a tremendous amount of money, to create awareness in our community. MLCC’s major partner Jubilee Estate will be generously donating a major prize for the trailer raffle. The 6 x 4 heavy-duty trailer, donated by Lee Jay Trailers will be filled with some amazing prizes from local businesses and the Winner really will take it all! Second and third prizes are $100 and $50 cash prizes respectively. The funds raised will help place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia, as well as increase breast cancer awareness in young women. If you are interested in donating and cannot attend on the 20th February, head to the following website: http://pinkstumpsday2016.gofundraise.com.au/page/manorlakescc All donations are greatly appreciated! For more information, visit the MLCC Pink Stumps day Facebook page at: https://m.facebook.com/mlccpinkstumpsday/?ref=bookmarks Cassie Brooks
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MEET THE J SQUARE BROS In this new age of social media, youthful enthusiasm has never had such an effective avenue for making dreams into reality. Through the power of ‘Sharing’, a business in it’s infancy, can be transformed into a household name in no time at all and that is the hope of Jesse Longo and his business partners.
With both foundations agreeing to work with the J Square Bros, the company has taken another step forward in their quest for success. The J.S.B 5% Fund, will see 5% taken from all non charity dedicated items sold by the company, then donated to any benefit or charity of the customer’s choice!
J Square Bros was born in 2015, with a Tee design and the fairly pure intentions of bringing Jesse and his brothers closer together.
J Square Bros’ next venture will see them setting up shop at the Manor Lakes Pink Stumps Day on Saturday the 20th February. Hoping to help raise some much needed funds for the McGrath foundation and bring J Square to the Western Suburbs!
Brotherhood is a big part of what this business is about and though they are not all brothers by blood, Jesse, John and Joseph, alongside best mates Jack and James, have always been able to rely upon one another when needed! The motivation for Jesse is simple, “If we can protect our futures and help anyone else along the way, then I will be happy with what I have achieved! A safe and financially stable future would drive anyone to succeed, but in this case being able to look after my brothers and create work for them long into the future is definitely a part of the end game!” A desire to help others has led the business to charity work. The Starlight Foundation and McGrath Foundation have meant a lot to the boys over the years, for various reasons, and so an opportunity to give back wherever possible just made sense to Jesse:
Jesse is excited about what lays ahead for the the business, “I hope to get as many other retailers involved, by J Squaring just one of their items to raise money for the fund also! The future plans for J.S.B are still dreams for now, but there is a clothing line designed, hand made furniture and definitely a lot of charity events!” With so much positivity and drive, there is no doubt that J Square Bros is well on it’s way to major success. For more information on J Square Bros, check out their Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/J-Square-Bros
“Not only did we want to look after those close to us, but also anyone who had previously cared for us and our families along the way ... Having spent so much time in hospital as a child, the Starlight Foundation was a big influence, and their goal of always wanting to make people smile definitely rubbed off on me! The reason I chose the McGrath Foundation is more for the future … if anyone’s mother, sister, aunty, grandma, etc. is diagnosed with breast cancer, then I hope the help is there, and since there has been a scare in my family already, the decision to support this foundation needed no second thought!”
A LOCAL AQUAPONICS TOUR FOR GARDEN AND FISH BUFFS For example, both techniques are vulnerable to disease arising from chemical build-up in the water, that becomes toxic for the plants in hydroponics, and from high ammonia concentration, making aquaculture water toxic for the fish. Aquaponics appears to offer the best of both techniques, eliminating weeding, disease and the need disposal of toxic water.
Altona Community Gardens, a new community group that is currently campaigning to set up a community garden in Altona and that we featured recently in this newspaper, is organising an aquaponics tour that showcases this innovative approach to growing plants and fish. Aquaponics combines aquaculture (the growing of aquatic organisms such as fish, molluscs and crustaceans) and hydroponics (a way of growing plants in water, without soil). In aquaponics, aquatic organisms and plants are grown together in one integrated system. The fish waste is used as an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water that the fish live in. Aquaponics capitalises on the benefits of both aquaculture and hydroponics, whilst eliminating the drawbacks of each technique.
Altona Community Gardens are offering local people the chance to find out more about this innovative technique and to see two working aquaponics systems in action. The tour will take place on Sunday 28 February at 11.00am in Altona. Places are limited. Those wishing to attend should contact the organisers at email@example.com or by visiting www.altonacg.org . Details of the venue will be provided upon registration. Fabienne Chevalier
BACK TO SCHOOL: Tips for Parents For all those parents anticipating the start of a new school year, we have some fantastic ‘Back to School Tips’ from a former teacher/ full-time mum. She’s also kindly offered some great guidelines on how to prepare your child for their first term in prep. Before School Starts: • Do get the kids excited about going back to school by taking them school-shoe shopping. Also buy or let them choose a new lunch box and water bottle. • Remember to show them what’s in their school bag and make sure you pack a hat! • Arrange playdates with your child’s school friends during the holidays. • Start putting your children to bed earlier (Ie: the time they normally go down when they are at school.) After School’s Started: • Write down their school timetable somewhere visible, so you don’t forget library/ sports days etc. • Continue to regularly read with them and go over any homework. • Give them enough time to rest after school (starting/returning to school is very tiring, especially in term 1.) • Have some more play times with new and old friends. DO NOT … • Have too many out of school activities. • Expect the kids to be able to read immediately. • Compare siblings. Your child’s first year at school, ‘Prep’, is an exciting time for both the parents and their child; however, it can be full of new challenges and big changes. Every parent wants their child to feel capable and grow in confidence. These tips will help you do that all while giving you a sense of balance and control. • Buy lunch and snack containers that your child can actually open! • Emphasise the importance of hand washing after using the toilet. (Children at school will be using the toilet further away from their classrooms and there will be no kinder teachers to remind them about hand washing.) • Get your child to practice removing and putting on their jumper. (You’d be surprised how many preps can’t actually do this.) • Label all clothing and school hats, including shoes. (Masking tape and permanent markers are an efficient way of labelling, without having to buy proper personalised stickers.) • If you get a book list, please buy the exact glue suggested on the list. (The teacher won’t appreciate the fact that nothing sticks in the workbooks.) • Practice eating breakfast within a certain time. (Being late for kinder may be fine, but not for school.) • Don’t give too much or too little lunch for your child. (If you give too much, they could end up sitting in a special eating area for half of lunch, instead of playing in the playground!) • If your child is not confident in the playground, try to access the school playground beforehand and show them how to use the equipment. (You won’t be there at lunch time, and they may become overwhelmed trying to work it out themselves.) • Get your child to practice sitting with their legs crossed while at home. • Practice reading/rhyming/letter ID games with your child. • Get your child to practice packing their own bag. (Take their lunch box, jumper, reader bag etc. out and demonstrate to your child how to pack it, vs. stuffing everything in and then wondering why it doesn’t all fit. The tip is to put the reader bag/ library book down the back wall of the bag.) • Learn to ask the ‘right questions’ if you expect good answers, not just, “how was your day?” Kyla-Jayne Rajah
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY, DON’T IT? A 5-year-old ‘Brown Dirt Cowboy’ in a straw cowboy hat, with a star pinned on the front, the cord pulled tight keeping it in place. A gun holster also with a star on it, the gun lazily lying on the grass three feet away - closer to the crook, than the cowboy. Baggy shorts and plastic sandals, with no socks - perfect cowboy attire. An obliging pretend ‘Uncle’ Tommy, kneeling quietly while his feet are bound, ensuring the pretend crook doesn’t escape. Tommy keeping an eye on things, offering advice if the knots are too loose. Good cowboys always had a partner and Paddy is ensuring that Tommy’s hands are restrained too.
Is that dad’s well-worn and well-faded Navy Blue work singlet, hanging on the line, suggesting this picture was taken on a weekend? Everyone knows dad only had one work singlet and it was washed on the weekend, cleaned and ready for Monday.
Who were these backyard cowboy’s heroes? Heroes seen in movies, at the Altona Picture Theatre at a Saturday Afternoon Matinee. Carried there on dad’s shoulders, to see Roy Rogers, or Gene Autrey, or perhaps dad’s favourite, Tom Mix. Movies where the good guys - the ones in the white hats, always won.
One wonders what happened to the two cowboys, are they still friends, living in Altona some 60 years later? And what of ‘Uncle’ Tommy, surely he’s not still tied up in the backyard?
Is that a chook pen in the background that spreads across the whole width of the backyard? It looks like the gate’s open suggesting the chooks aren’t going anywhere in a hurry. Actually is that a chook on the fence above Tommy’s head? I think so, suggesting a closed gate isn’t gonna make much difference.
An inflated car inner tube on the ground nearby, suggests perhaps other games, besides Cowboys and Crooks was also played in this Mount Street backyard.
We now know that all things must pass. The guys in the white hats don’t always win and tomorrow never knows, but EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY - DON’T IT?
A WORD FROM JILL HENNESSY MP 2016 brings with it some exciting developments for Melbourne’s west. The Western Distributor Project has been given the green light by the Andrews Labor Government which means that, once completed, motorists travelling from the West and back will save up to 20 minutes per day. Over a week, this adds up to almost 2 hours of time saved. The project will reduce congestion, improve safety on our roads and create jobs for locals. Upcoming events
in light clothing • Plan ahead by scheduling activities in the coolest parts of the day and avoid exercising in the heat • Help others and look after those most at risk in your community • Hot cars kill - never leave kids, adults or pets in hot cars. If you have any questions about these or any other matters, please contact me on (03) 9395 0221 or email me at jill. firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my website www. jillhennessy.com.au for updates and news throughout the month. Jill Hennessy
Be sure to head down to Summer Sounds 2016 In Your Neighbourhood Family Picnic, which will be held at Trafalgar Reserve in Altona Meadows on Friday 26 February from 5pm to 7pm. The event is free and will feature live music and roving performers. Survive the heat Late last year I launched the Survive the Heat campaign in order to remind Victorians of the dangers of extreme heat. Extreme heat kills more Australians than any other natural disaster – but we can do something about this. • Drink water, even if you don’t feel thirsty • Keep cool and seek out cool buildings, draw blinds, dress
A WORD FROM THE CHERRY LAKE WARD COUNCILLORS Dog’s breakfast Our annual Dog’s Breakfast was held last month with around 400 dogs and their owners coming out to Apex Park. The Altona Dog Obedience Club, Birdlife Australia and The Lost Dogs Home put on some great displays, Jackie Kerin and Sarah Depasquale shared their Tales from the Fly Way, and The Altona Lions Club made sure nobody went home hungry. The aim of the event was to raise awareness – not just about doggy behaviour and doggy nutrition, but how dogs interact with the local native life. Take dogs and snakes – Scotty from the Reptile Education Victoria gave a great talk about keeping dogs and snakes at a healthy distance. The key message was to always err on the side of caution. Even in off-leash areas, it is important to make sure your dog is close by and you have verbal command at all times. Keeping dogs away from local shorebirds is another consideration. Apex Park, as well as Doug Grant Reserve, the mouth of Laverton Creek, Jawbone Reserve, Truganina Park and Cherry Lake are all important stopping points for migratory birds. Go down to Doug Grant, look across the sandbar, and many of those birds have travelled up to 10,000 kilometres to arrive at their summer feeding destination. As well as enjoying the culinary delights on offer, they’re appreciating a bit of R and R, before the next 10,000 kilometre journey. So, if your dog loves water, consider taking them to PA Burns Reserve and Altona Dog Beach. New tennis courts
We will shortly be serving up some ‘ace’ improvements. The courts at Sugar Gum Drive in Altona and Altona Green Park in Altona Meadows are to be resurfaced, with asphalt underneath and a synthetic layer over the top. The courts will be inaccessible throughout February, but the results will be worth it. And remember – they are free to the public any time of the day. The courts will also be modified to be used by young children as part of the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program. Altona early years consultation Council is consulting on future options and recommendations for early years’ services and facilities in Altona. As part of this process, there will be a public information session at the Civic Parade Council office on 6 February at 10am. This will follow a tour of the Newport Gardens facility on 3 February at 6.30pm. To register for any of these sessions or to fill out the survey, go to: participate.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au. If you require assistance with your registration please contact Customer Service on 9932 1000. The findings from the consultation will be presented on 25 February at 7pm at Altona Library. You can register for any of these sessions by phoning 9932 1000. Cherry Lake Ward Cr Sandra Wilson Contact details: 0419 287 117 or email@example.com Cherry Lake Ward Cr Jason Price Contact details: 0438 871 814 or firstname.lastname@example.org Council’s website – www.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au
CALLING ALL WRITERS AND POETS IN MELBOURNE’S WEST Entries are now being accepted for the Williamstown Literary Festival’s Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize 2016, the Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize 2016, the Young Ada Short Story Prize and the Young Ada Graphic Short Story Prize for young people aged 14-18 years. The prizes are open to any writers and poets who live, work or study in the western suburbs of Melbourne. The competitions offer publication and $2000 in prize money: 1. The Ada Cambridge Biographical Prose Prize – $1,000 2. The Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize – $500 3. The Young Ada Short Story Prize – $250 4. The Young Ada Graphic Short Story Prize - $250 The ‘Adas’, as they are affectionately known, are named after one of Australia’s finest colonial writers, Ada Cambridge, who wrote more than twenty-five works of fiction, three volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works. Ada Cambridge had a very special connection to Williamstown. Amongst her prolific prose and poetry output, the splendid memoir, Thirty Years in Australia (1903), includes recollections of life in Williamstown round
the turn of the century, rambles in its streets and lanes, shipyards and rough stretches of coastal land. 2016 marks the eleventh anniversary of the competition which is a signature event of the Williamstown Literary Festival. The inaugural Prose Prize winner, author Sheryl Clark has this to say about her 2005 win: “My biographical story, ‘With These Hands’, that won the very first Ada Cambridge award was a leap of courage. It was the first time I’d ever written about my mother in prose; previously I’d written just a couple of poems. My mum died when I was fourteen, and sometimes you need 40 years or more before you get to a place where you can write about things like that.” Entries close on Tuesday 8th March 2016. The winners will be announced at the Williamstown Literary Festival, 17 and 18 June 2016. Conditions of entry can be found at www.willylitfest.org.au or http://libraries.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/
A VERY TARANTINO EXPERIENCE AT THE SUN THEATRE Monday the 18th of January was an extraordinary day for those who went to see Quentin Tarantino’s latest western, The Hateful 8, being projected in glorious 70mm ultra Panavision film, at The Sun Theatre in Yarraville. After patrons were admitted into the Barkley theatre room, projectionist Bert Murphy introduced himself and showed the attendees the significant difference in size, between the more common 35mm and the lesser common 70mm film stock. The cinema owner Michael Smith then confirmed the rumour that had made this particular screening highly anticipated and sold out within hours after being teased; that the director himself, Quentin Tarantino, will be making a surprise appearance at the end of the screening. The film began with an Overture. The whole theatre remained silent, with hints of laughter throughout the whole first-half of the film. The 13-minute intermission enabled patrons to grab an onthe-house coffee in style, with the film. The second-half of the film could only be described as epic and brutal. It had the violence, profanity, pleasure and eclectic spectacle of a Tarantino film, which the audience very much enjoyed. The credits then rolled, highlighting Maestro Ennio Morricone’s sinister score, that kept the audience on the edge of their seats during the film. After being introduced, the man who directed the film, Quentin Tarantino, walked into the cinema with a grand applause welcoming him. He then shocked the audience by saying that he brought with him two ‘Hateful 8-ers’, none other than Kurt Russell and Samuel L Jackson. The three Hollywood film stars were greeted by Smith and
then stood at the front of the screen. “I saw that show-reel that showed how [the theatre prepared for the special 70mm screenings of the film]. I watched that in Los Angeles and I actually had a tear come down my cheek, I was so moved by it,” Tarantino said. He then commenced a 25-minute Q&A with the audience. Throughout the discussion, Tarantino mentioned how the story-writing process for his films are “all kind of different”, in which he tends to “flirt around with ideas” until he finds the one that grabs him. Russell then joked about how The Hateful 8 was only filmed in the 70mm rare format, so that viewers could properly see his “beard, that [he] spent four months on growing”, in preparation for his role. “Quentin makes it fun [and] makes it hot,” Jackson said. The Q&A then concluded with a standing ovation by the audience. Some patrons described the experience as “surreal” and “once in a lifetime”. Many thanks to The Sun Theatre and all involved, for ensuring that this experience was truly spectacular. Eric Motoska
HAVE YOU GIVEN UP ON YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO LOSE WEIGHT ALREADY? If you have already dropped your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, this invitation is for you. As a therapist specialising in weight loss, I would like to invite people struggling to lose weight, to participate in a trial for a weight-loss program that incorporates the Virtual Gastric Band (VGB). The program is delivered in four sessions over one month. Through relaxation, counselling and hypnotherapy, it is designed to make a permanent change to your eating habits, so you become satisfied on smaller amounts of food. We train you to retune into the feelings of hunger and fullness, so you only eat when hungry, not because of your emotions, and stop when full. Feedback shows that hypnotherapy is like ‘flicking a switch in the brain’, turning off cravings and enabling you to eat only until you are satisfied. The VGB has received much attention, as trials achieved a 95% success rate for 24 out of 25 participants in the UK, and 91% in Australia for 18 out of 20 participants.
I know personally all too well the difficulties of losing weight when you struggle to move, and when your thoughts repeatedly turn to food as a coping mechanism. Thanks to hypnotherapy, chronic pain no longer ruins my life and, with the VGB, I have started losing weight. I have seen hypnotherapy work for so many people, that I am very excited at the prospect of helping more people to lose weight in this way. There is nothing magical or mystical about hypnotherapy. It is not a magic wand. It is a method that helps you to change your eating habits and make small, realistic and achievable changes that you can sustain. I am so passionate about promoting the benefits of hypnotherapy and allaying misconceptions, that I am determined to continue both losing weight myself and helping others achieve their own weight-loss goals with VGB. To join in this year’s trial, book your place by 26 February. Dr Fabienne Chevalier www.hypnolife.com.au
Following weight gain due to injury and severe chronic pain,
MEMORY OF A ROMANTIC DATE IN QUEENSCLIFF, VICTORIA
Have you planned something special for your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Bill Swaine of Werribee, even at 84 can be considered a true romantic. In this short piece, he recalls the love of his life, Marion, who passed away two years ago after 63 wonderful years of marriage. One of the things they loved to do was take day trips and this particular Valentine’s Day trip is worth reminiscing. Bill shares a very descriptive way to spend quality time with a loved one. It is something not a lot of couples have time to do now-a-days, so guys, if you are planning on a surprise get-a-way with your special someone, here’s a thought based on how Bill did it. Mimi Laurilla One of my favourite Valentine memories was my Valentine’s Day trip - a drive to Queenscliff to have a morning coffee at the Marina there, perhaps a lift ride to the top of the viewing tower to set the mood of the day, then a leisurely hand-inhand stroll aboard the Sorrento ferry. Once on board, a venture out onto the open deck to feel the sea air and see the land and the birds slide by while we simply
made small talk. On arrival at Sorrento the brisk walk up the hill to the hotel would condition us for drinks, preparatory to a long slow lunch. When the menu had been considered and the lunch order placed, it would give us time to just look at one another and enjoy each other’s company. With the arrival of lunch, the anticipation of good food and a glass of wine now fulfilled,we allowed ourselves to comment on the food and wine, while remembering the importance of the first time we did this. Now with lunch drawing to a close, with the cheese-board and after-lunch drinks, we would contemplate the aftermath of lunch followed by a quiet stroll back down the hill to the waterfront. Back on board the ferry, coffee would be nice, still maintaining the aura of togetherness until arrival back at Queenscliff. The car ride back home would be quiet until safely inside the warmth and security of home where the glow of satisfaction would manifest itself with the memory of a wonderful day together. Bill Swaine
Notices ALTONA LADIES PROBUS CLUB FUN, FELLOWSHIP & FRIENDSHIP We meet every 4th Thursday At the Altona RSL – 10am start. We have monthly speakers, Theatre outing every 4th Monday Lunch dine out every 3rd Wednesday Occasional trips and outings New members will be made very welcome Enquiries to Merle – 9398 3640 Or Jenny – 9398 3379
ALTONA NORTH COMBINED PROBUS CLUB: Retired or semi-retired? Interested in developing new friends, or interests. Join our friendly group at the Community Hall, Cypress Av., Brooklyn -10.00am on 3rd Wednesday of each month. Guest speakers, trips and other activities are organised. Enquiries: Murray 9314 2593
THE PROBUS CLUB LAVERTON The Probus Club of Laverton meets on the 4th Monday of each month at The Hub, Laverton, at 10am. Probus is an organisation for retired and semi-retired people, who get together for a ‘cuppa’ and listen to a guest speaker. Meetings are over by noon. If you are interested and free on 22nd February contact Jan or Tom on 97426080. 12
COMMUNITY CAFÉ WEEKLY
Laverton Community Centre (the Hub) 95-105Railway Ave Laverton Every Wednesday, 12noon-1pm Altona Meadows Community Centre 28 Trafalgar Avenue, Altona Meadows Every Friday, 12noon-1pm 3 course meal, both days cost: $8/$5 (conc) Bookings essential by Monday/ Thursday Phone:8368 0177
ADAVIC ANXIETY & DEPRESSION SUPPORT GROUP Connect with others in a safe environment to share experiences and coping strategies. Every Tuesday 7:30-9:30pm at the Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre, Sargood St, Altona. $5 Casuals / $3 Members For more info phone: (03) 9853-8089 | email: email@example.com | visit: www.adavic.org.au
DO YOU ENJOY SINGING? The Altona Community Choir invites you to come along and join us on Monday evenings from 7:30-9:30 at the Altona Seniors Citizen Centre on the corner of Sargood and Queen St. No singing experience required, we have a conductor and pianist to teach us the music. Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to come along. Interested? Call or SMS Paula on 0409 215 352. Issue 91
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS Is drinking costing you more than money? 24 hour helpline 1300 22 22 22 No matter where in the area someone rings this number from, it will be answered locally.
PETANQUE GAME APPOINTMENT? I am a volunteer at Jamieson Way Community Centre. To organize an appointment, to understand how to play Petanque: - Contact: social.french. firstname.lastname@example.org - On the second Tuesday of each month at 10am - At the Jamieson Way Community Centre For more information call the Community Centre on 9395 7922.
FRIENDSHIP CLUB ALTONA DAY VIEW CLUB View, which is a national club, gives women the opportunity to meet regularly, to share their walks in life, make friendships and listen to guest speakers. Importantly, the club raises funds for the Smith family for the Learning for Life program. Altona view meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month, at Altona R.S.L. Doors open 11am for an 11.30am start. Contact Janet on: 9394 6522 or 0412 010 176.
THE ALTONA FRUIT AND VEGIE SWAP Takes place on the second Saturday of every month from 10:30am to 11:30am at the Rotunda in Logan Reserve PierStreet, Altona.
THE DEEP END Is it true you drown if you go down for a third time?
I was exhilarated!
No time to contemplate this, as I went down for the third time, but grabbed an anonymous arm, hauled myself to the surface and threw myself at the wall of the cement pool, gasping for breath between heaving sobs.
BUT I was still fearful of being stranded in the middle of the pool, at the deep end, so always swam next to the wall…. until….
You guessed it! I couldn’t swim and the excitement of sharing a few days in the Grampians at Halls Gap with teenage friends, came to a sudden halt. It was the early 50’s…no flash pools, spas and beautiful tiled surfaces. I was pushed in the deep end of the rough cement pool and like many of us at that time, particularly the girls, I had never learned to swim. Fast forward to the 60’s. Happily married with three healthy energetic children. My goals were clear. No way my children would refuse to put their faces in the water at swimming lessons. So…. Splashing water in the bath, putting faces in the bath water, blowing bubbles underwater, holding their breath underwater. I was determined. And it worked. Soon I was a proud mum, as my three children all became competent swimmers. But the near drowning episode in my teens had left an ugly psychological scar. Despite the children constantly entreating me to ‘Come in, mum’, I stubbornly stayed poolside. Only at the beach was I happy to wholeheartedly join them in the water.
Horror of horrors! What to do? One morning there were more ladies than usual and no free lane beside the wall. I nervously entered the middle lane, started swimming, and refused to look ahead until I hit the end wall. Stopping mid stream would be a catastrophe. This was going to be the most challenging swim I would ever do. Suddenly another swimmer bumped into me. I stopped! Scream? Drown? Ridiculous! Finally, I touched the end of the pool, crying, laughing and shaking all over. I DID IT! And that was just the start. In my early 70’s, I swam Corio Bay as part of the World Masters Games triathlon. Never say Can’t Never give up.
I could not maintain this resistance and inflict my problem on them. I felt compelled to do something about it. And I did! So began my program to learn to swim. Step 1. Enter the pool at the shallow end with my children, until they wanted to venture deeper, where I would walk only to shoulder depth, before returning to the shallow end. Step 2. As above, but continue to the DEEP end, while hanging on to the wall. Step 3. As above and let go of the wall! Preferably without having a panic attack. So far so good. All above completed and feeling more relaxed in the process. Having watched the children’s swimming lessons, I had acquired a sound theoretical knowledge of the mechanics of swimming. Was it time to put this theory into practice, or would I continue letting my ‘phobia’ control the rest of my life? NO! Ladies time at the local pool was one hour, 5 mornings a week. So I started. Swimming across the shallow end was easier than I thought, but that wasn’t the crux of the problem. Over weeks and months, I persevered until the day I swam the length of the pool several times, clutching the wall at each turn.
THIS MONTH IN 1918 The article below appeared in the Williamstown Chronicle, on Saturday 9th February 1918. Sunfish have apparently been seen in Port Phillip Bay in the past, and although they grow to over 3 metres in length, are harmless, eating mainly jellyfish. I personally would be more worried about the heavily armed campers at Altona beach, than a frenzied sunfish attack.
The sunfish in the article below was offered to the University museum, but I could not find out if they accepted it or not. Excitement at Altona. LARGE SUNFISH CAPTURED. Great excitement prevailed on Thursday evening among the campers at Altona Beach. At dusk a large fin was seen in the water in line with the end of the pier. A boat party, armed with harpoons, shot guns and revolvers, put off, and several shots were fired without effect. Early next morning another attempt was made for a capture, which proved successful, when it was found that the stranded marine monster was a large sunfish, about 10 feet long, and with a depth of over 9 feet. A draught horse was employed to tow the fish to shore on the rising tide. Its estimated weight was from 20 to 30 cwt (1000 to 1500kg). It will be on view at Altona Beach today. Above: another luckless sunfish which was run over by the steamer â€œFionaâ€? near Sydney in 1908. It is about the same size as the 1918 Altona Sunfish. Greg Milne
THE ART OF LOVE LETTER WRITING: HAS IT VANISHED? 3. Body of the letter – the main content of your letter should focus on expressing appreciation for your loved one, such as explaining how your life has changed for the better, describing how you feel when you are apart, listing the many qualities you love about him/ her. Tell him/her how wonderful being together makes you feel, among other things. Please be respectful when you express your feelings. The writing style should not be too casual, or too formal, or bordering on offensive erotica. It has to sound sincere and honest as well. Remember this should express your emotions and vulnerability. With today’s technological advances it would not be surprising to think that society may have lost the time, energy and desire to write love letters using long-hand, and possibly make it more artistic through calligraphy. Do I blame it on e-mail? E-cards? Instant Messaging? Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Snap Chat? Actually, I blame it on the people – we have begun to be lazy! So, if you have not tried your hand at love letter writing, I suggest that now is as perfect time to attempt one. I am sure that going back to traditional ways of being thoughtful, caring and unique will make one’s day truly special. Yes, I say unique, because most people may cringe at the thought of holding a pen and writing all those beautiful words. But let’s start this campaign for the New Year – try something new. Try writing a love letter. It is actually more fun than just picking out a generic Valentine’s Day card from the bookstore.
4. Inserts – put more flavour into the body of the letter, through the insertion of appropriate quotes, or prose, or snippets of lines from a song, or a poem that means something to you and the recipient. I also like inserting petals, a leaf, a marker with a nice quote or message, a keychain, sprinkles, or a small puff of scented powder or fragrance, potpourri or a separate gift to go with the letter. There you go… spend some time to give this some thought, to make it extra special. You can do it! Mimi Laurilla
Here are my tips on how to write that special love letter: 1. The icing on the cake and extras – please do not use typical plain white paper. Use proper stationery, preferably those with soft, or neutral colours. Ensure that you do not type it – you need to write it by hand, and try to be as neat as possible. You can write your letter making a draft on other paper, so you can still make changes and edit, then re-write or transfer the final version onto the stationery. Ensure that the stationery has a matching envelope with it. Do not forget to put the date, time and place where you wrote the letter. 2. Writing Style – be descriptive, use language that captures the five senses (words that may describe smell, touch, sight, taste and sound). You can use adjectives and adverbs a lot such as angel, angelic, gorgeous, adoring, memorable, or other words that evoke emotions. Your greeting should not be plain such as Dear Jane. Rather, be endearing. Remember this is not a business letter. Your salutation or closing should also match your greeting. You can use ‘yours forever’, or ‘all my love’, as opposed to simply, ‘with best regards’.
NICENESS I shall give you this advice, And I’ll ask you not to scoff: Just by trying to be nice, You may earn a nice pay-off. Fellows, if your hats you doff Whene’er you meet a lady, She might think that you’re a toff And well worth knowing, maybe. You’ll catch no flies with vinegar, But a lot of them with honey. Being nice might take you far While costing you no money. You might think that it’s nonsense, But I tell you it’s no joke: It’s been my experience, Nice things happen to nice folk. Niceness takes lots less effort Than being mean and nasty. Doing what your mother taught Will bring you joy, you’ll soon see. Start working on your niceness. Why not start this very day? It will cause you lots less stress For good things that come your way. Dividends will come quickly, At times a complete surprise. Be assured it’s no mystery: Nice things happen to nice guys. It requires no great expertise To be a jolly good fellow. What you must do is aim to please: Spread joy like there’s no tomorrow. Jack Nystrom
Altona Kids Hi Kids, It’s back to school time again - your water bottles are bought, pencil cases full, and backpacks are ready. While the delight of your summer holiday is fading into memory, school music is playing across the locality. So to keep on track as you head through the school gates, for either the first or the fifth time, here are a few DOs and DO NOTs to start off the school year with confidence. DOs … Do stand tall, smile, and walk confidently. Do speak clearly to others and your teachers. Do keep your brain super-powered with healthy snacks. Do be friendly to other students and be kind. Do remember that your teacher is there to help you. Do make space in your heart for a new friend.
DO NOTs … Do not walk around staring at the ground. Do not throw paper planes at the teacher’s head. Do not copy work or ideas from other students. Do not make fun of the kids you don’t understand. Do not leave your lunch money at home. Do not read all day and speak to no one. And last but not least… Do not forget to believe in your super-incredible learning abilities. Best wishes for the school year everyone, Kyla-Jayne
Photo credit: ‘freepik’
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OWNING A PET
If you have ever owned a pet, you already know how affectionate and full of life they can be. Not only do they bring much joy into our lives, but there have also been a number of studies that show the many health benefits, including improvements in physical, mental and emotional health, that owning pets can bring. It has been suggested that having pets in the house, will increase the chances of children experiencing allergies, however, this is not the case. Many studies have suggested that children growing up in a home with a pet, will lessen their risk of allergies and asthma. Studies show that children exposed early on in their lives, develop stronger immune systems overall. Heart related studies have shown that pet owners display a decrease in blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can minimize the risk of a heart attack. Research also shows that individuals who have already experienced a heart attack, have better recovery rates if they own a dog or cat. It is thought that pets help reduce their ownersâ€™ overall stress levels.
Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression, than those without pets. Studies have shown when playing with a dog or a cat, serotonin and dopamine levels are elevated, which helps to calm and relax. Owning a pet can also help motivate people to exercise, helping to reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight. Having a pet can increase social integration, by attending dog training classes, visiting the vet, walking in the park and around beaches, providing opportunities to meet and talk to other people. Studies have shown that people walking a dog have more positive encounters with others, than those who walk alone, with the pet often providing a topic of conversation. Not only do pets provide us with loyalty, companionship, love and affection, they also provide many positive physical and physiological benefits.
Cindy Bremner Natural Pawfection- Animal Naturopathy www.naturalpawfection.com.au
HOBART OR ADELAIDE? AVALON CAN GET YOU THERE. If you’re looking to make 2016 your year of simple travel, Avalon Airport is very pleased to assist, with two more fabulous destinations announced by Jetstar at the end of last year. From 27 March Jetstar will fly direct to Hobart and Adelaide from Avalon, meaning the airport’s trademark “flying made easy” can now get passengers to these two wonderful cities without any hassle. There will be seven new flights per week – three to Adelaide on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and four to Hobart on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The destinations have been chosen in response to overwhelming requests from people living in the region. Adelaide is of course famous for its festivals, including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, the Cabaret Festival and Womadelaide, and it’s only an hour’s drive from the stunning wineries of the Barossa Valley. Hobart is at the top of many people’s travel lists nowadays, with a perfect mix of the historical and the contemporary, with Salamanca Place and Markets, Port Arthur, and a ferry ride to the ever popular MONA. Avalon Airport CEO, Justin Giddings is excited about the growth. “We’re thrilled to be expanding our repertoire this year with these fantastic new destinations – just as we’re
delighted to have the opportunity of welcoming visitors from Adelaide and Hobart to our stunning region. These are very exciting times!” Jetstar began flying direct from Avalon to the Gold Coast late last year, and those flights, as well as flights to Sydney are selling well. Follow all of Avalon Airport’s news on Facebook, Twitter (@AvalonAirportAU) and Instagram (@avalonairport). Image: Hobart Cove Houses Sunset © Volodymyr Vyshnivetskyy | Dreamstime.com
Photo page Local photographer, Jenny Bates has once again managed to capture the wonder and beauty of Altona. If you think you have a knack for photography, send your snapshots to me at email@example.com or use the hashtag #aroundaltona on Instagram.
Film Review Alejandro G Iñárritu’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning Birdman, is as grim as its predecessor was whimsical; at two and a half hours it is also exhausting. (Very) loosely inspired by real events, the film follows Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) — a hunter left to die by his companions, after a savage bear attack - he fights off death, in spite of his injuries and braves the wilderness of the Louisiana Purchase and the hostilities of the Native Americans, to return to his outpost and expose the treachery of fellow hunter John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). In essence, though, it is a classic tale of revenge, the specifics of which are best left unspoiled.
It’s also a shame that, amidst all the awards buzz surrounding DiCaprio, Hardy’s performance will quickly be forgotten. Truth be told, Fitzgerald is by far the most interesting character and it’s a shame we don’t spend more time with him. To be clear: The Revenant isn’t a bad film. It just isn’t a particularly enjoyable one.
Visually, The Revenant is a knockout. The snow, the forests, the mountains and the rivers are captured in all their icy glory; the camerawork too is extraordinary, replete with those familiar Emmanuel Lubezki one-shot takes. And there is no question that the actors threw themselves wholeheartedly into this endeavour, something which takes that Hollywood gloss off the finished product. Indelible images aside however, and it becomes clear that the story is far too thin to justify its runtime. When Iñárritu indulges himself in the graphic violence and/or gives us precious seconds with the supporting characters, things become decidedly more interesting, but the problem remains that we are then forced to spend another fifteen minutes watching Glass crawl and hobble and wheeze and dribble his way through the trees and the dirt; something that loses its appeal very quickly.
ARE WE THERE YET? I have sometimes wondered why animal mothers eat their young. Now I know. School holidays always start off well. Mums love the break from routine, no stress or school-lunch dramas that unfold daily. Families take holidays. Children visit friends and are only spotted when hungry. It’s bliss. Then around week three something happens. The excitement of Christmas fades, people return to work and it gets hot. Parents are tired of keeping the peace, sick of hearing “he said”, “she did” and “I can’t find”. We need silence. Parents arrange play dates, so children can delight someone else for a while. Frankly, these are for our own sanity. We need to hear the voice of another adult and Marie at the supermarket checkout doesn’t count.
or the one that can’t help but annoy the entire household. You’re even willing to take someone else’s child hoping they will entertain each other and leave the poor dog alone. By week five, every mother is a woman on the edge. Days are long, fuses are short, and they don’t want a discussion with anyone under 5ft tall. The highlight of mid-January is shopping for shoes, and if you can enlist in the help of your Mum most altercations can be diffused quickly. If in doubt, take snacks, and the promise of ice-cream will help. Whether your child is starting Prep or Year 9, the first day is special. You appreciate getting through the holidays without incidents that resulted in injury, damage, or excessive cost. You smile secretly as they dress, knowing that the next six and a half hours of wifi access is finally yours.
By week four parents need someone to take their child away. If there’s more than one, you sacrifice the loudest, the moaner,
Dee Simpson You can also find me at http://comejoindee.com/
HIGH-ON-LIFE This ICE Epidemic that is taking the city, state and country by storm is leaving countless Parents feeling that their Child is Slipping away from them and many Parents are beginning to wonder if there is any chance they will EVER see the return of the beautiful loving child that they once knew. Renowned therapist Cas Willow has been a part of the development of a large and successful Drug Treatment Program and she has now developed, improved upon some of the old beliefs and is incorporating the users supports into the High-on-Life Program, so they do not feel they have to fight this battle of a lifetime on their own. Like many other countries across the globe Australia is no stranger to this harmful trend that is over taking our youth. The ABC reports that approximately 80,000 Victorians alone are using ICE. That is one very frightening statistic. To truly understand why Cas does what she does, we asked the question “Why a Drug and Alcohol Specialist?” Willow recalls that as a relatively new counsellor many years ago, back in the late 80’s or early 90’s, a young teenager came to her seeking help. The teen had felt pressured into the drug scene, purely because they wanted to be a part of “the clan” so to speak. Cas witnessed the trauma for both the teenager and the family and it was that case that drove her passion to continue to help empower people, to make the choices in life that are right for them. “We see a lot of people out there that are on drug programs,
either mandatory or by choice and often they are going so well, when a slip occurs, that turns into a lapse or relapse and this can mean they slipped back into old behaviours. On our program this can happen too, (we are not tying their hands behind their backs or anything) however, we have measures and supports in place to help guide people through,” says Willow. “Because of all of the programs and treatments out there that focus only on the user, we heard the cries for help from the families involved and created a complete family orientated program to help those who have the support of their families to find the solution together.” IF you are at your wits end, and not sure which way to turn, this program may be for you. It is private and it is unique. It is not bulk billed and it is not covered by Medicare. This is a one-on-one program, therefore at times there may be a waiting list. We offer an absolutely free 15-minute telephone call, to see if this program is a fit for you and your family. For more information on the High-on-Life, Drug Program visitm www.CasWillow.com/services/high-on-lifeaod-program and complete the form to arrange and book your absolutely FREE No Obligation 15 Minute Call to discuss how this program can help and assist you and your loved ones.
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Fred's Q & A Firstly allow me to explain who I am so that you will get a better understanding of where I'm coming from and how I can answer your questions. My name is Fred Gillen and I am a Business Coach specializing in On-Line Marketing, what I mean by that is that I help local businesses just like yours to get the best from their on-line marketing efforts. As part of that service you will understand that I receive lots of questions each week and I have chosen a few of the more common ones here that might help you.
Ql. How can I email an offer to a list of my clients without each knowing others are receiving the same email? Al. The most effective way to achieve this is to use an online service that will allow you to create the message once and send it to each person individually, it will also allow you to address the email to the person directly by inserting their name automatically. One of the services I use is called MailChimp and they offer a free service where you can send to a max of 2000 in your list. check it out here wwwMailChimp.com. Q2. What is the best social media service to use to attract more clients? A2. There are more and more options appearing everyday and you really need to understand who exactly you need to attract before you attempt anything. For example, Facebook could be a good option for local restaurants to help build reputation, whereas Pinterest has a large female audience but Linkedln would be more appropriate for professional services. The main piece of advice I would give would be to get a better understanding of who your ideal client is and what social media they follow.
Q3. How do I know if my website is working? A3. This is really an open question, firstly you need to define what working" means to you. For example if you are selling items directly from your website then it is easy to determine, if you are get enough sales then it is working. But if you are a business that uses your website to invite visitors to your office or store then you will need to put something in place to allow you to check if your visitors are because of the content on your website. The first thing I would advise is to ensure that your web developer has at least included Google Analytics on your site so you can see how many visits to your site and what pages people are looking at. That's it for this month, if you have a question you would like answered you can email me at email@example.com , please put "Fred's Q & A" in the subject line so I don't miss it.