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100 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK...

Somerville resident farewelled

Compiled by Brodie Cowburn THE news of Mrs George Gomm’s death, which took place at her residence last Sunday, was received with deep regret by a large circle of friends. Mrs Gomm was an old resident of Somerville and had been in failing health for some time. She was a valued worker of the local branch of the Lady Mayoress’ Patriotic League. She leaves a husband and two daughters to mourn her loss and our sympathy is extended to the bereaved family. The funeral took place at the Mornington Cemetery on Tuesday afternoon. Rev Rymer conducted the burial service. *** THE concert held in Frankston on Saturday evening last, in aid of the funds of the Langwarrin Military Training Camp, was undoubtedly one of the best concerts given in Frankston. The audience was a large one, and during the evening Mr Jolly announced that he had personally sold 102 tickets in Melbourne, which were not represented in the hall. The programme was a novel one to a Frankston audiences and every item was loudly applauded, encores being the order of the evening. The dancing of Miss Raie Langley was a treat in itself and the singing of Miss Rona Miller was splendid. The Langwarrin Orchestra played excellent music. Mr J. B. Jolly presided and in a neat speech introduced the Merry Eight Comedy Company, and welcomed them to Frankston.

In the course of his speech the chairman said that this company of talented young ladies had for a long period, with unfading energy and success, been creating pleasure for thousands who had extended patronage to them, and thereby swelling Red Cross, Repatriation and various patriotic funds. To date this company have netted £700. *** THE ceremony of planting an honor avenue to the memory of the men who enlisted from Frankston will take place at Frankston today, at 3 o’clock. The State Governor, Senator Miller and Captain Bruce, M. P. will be the principal speakers. When completed the avenue will be one mile long, and the tree selected is that fine Australian specimen Eucalyptus Batryoides. A feature of the function will be the presence of 500 returned soldiers. These will be conveyed to Frankston by the Volunteer Motor Corps, which on that day will complete its 500th soldiers’ motor excursion. The corps reserved its 500th trip for Frankston, in recognition of the extensive hospitality of the Frankston Wattle Club to soldiers. The Wattle Club will entertain the 500 returned soldiers at luncheon after the ceremony. *** HASTINGS school boys journeyed to Crib Point on Saturday to play football, the game being a very fine one. The total scores being, Hastings, 8 goals 6 behinds 54 points to Crib Point 5 goals 10 behinds 40 points.

Mrs Lewis and Mrs Davis of Crib Point treated the boys to afternoon tea, which was much appreciated by them. *** THE Lady Mayoress’ League (Somerville Branch) is giving a Japanese Fair in aid of the Comforts Fund etc, on August the 16th and 17th. Captain Bruce M. C., M H.R. has been asked to open the Fair. Mr Duncan Puckle is Hon. Organiser and Mrs Ralph Philbrick Hon. Sec. and a strong committee is being formed to make the affair of as widespread interest as possible. The local Red Cross Society has been asked to cooperate and share the profits. The interest of the Shire Council and other local bodies is also asked. The fair promises to be a huge success. Particulars will appear in our advertising columns at an early date. *** THE Frankston Electric Lighting Company is gradually enlarging its sphere of usefulness. Since Monday last it has been running an all night service, viz, from 5 p.m. to 7.30 a.m. This will prove of great benefit to those requiring light after the usual hours and should be an incentive to those not having it laid on to have it as speedily as possible. *** IN aid of that worthy body, the Frankston Red Cross society, a grand concert will be given in the Frankston hall on Saturday evening, 17th August. Mr J. B. Jolly, the Hon. Organiser, is

getting together some of Melbourne’s best professional artists, who will give their services gratis. It is expected that the celebrated actress and dancer, Miss Maud Chatwynd will appear, together with the gifted soprano, Miss Elsie Trewick. *** ADAMSON Strettle and Co will hold their monthly sale at Tanti, on Monday, when a good yarding will be offered, for sale, and on Wednesday next they will hold a clearing sale at Carrum, on behalf of Mr Christensen, who is disposing of his dairy cattle, horses, implements, etc. The sale will commence at 1.30 o’clock. *** THE Rev. Watts, of Holy Trinity Church, Hastings, preached a memorial service to the late Mrs Olive Bowells. *** ARBOR Day was observed at the Langwarrin State School on Friday, July 5th, when a number of trees were planted by the scholars and parents who attended. The school grounds are now stocked with a variety of trees and shrubs and gives promise of soon becoming an attractive, and picturesque spot. A rain gauge has been purchased and the following rain record for June has been registered by. the scholars and Head Teacher. *** SHIRE of Frankston and Hastings, MONTHLY MEETING. The monthly meeting of the above was held on Thursday, 4th July. Present:– Crs Oates, in the chair,

Mason, Turner, Hodgins, Watt, Unthank and Longmuir. An apology was received from Cr Clements for inability to attend. Engineer’s Report – The work of sheeting the Pt. Nepean road, over Oliver’s Hill, is just about completed and the road is now in very good condition The work has been carried out by Foreman McComb and. party. Honor Avenue – Arrangements have been made to form the Honor Avenue at Frankston with the road machine. Works at Langwarrin – Nine chains of metalling have been carried out near the Military encampment at Langwarrin. Repairs Pt Nepean road, near Nyora – Repairs have been effected to this road between Nyora and Oliver’s Hill. Culvert Short Road to Baxter. Foreman Bladen has completed the culvert on this road. *** THE annual plain and fancy dress ball, under the auspices of the Frankston Wattle Club, is fixed for Friday, July 26th. Full particulars will be advertised next week. *** THE Hon. Treasurer Roll of Honor fund gratefully acknowledges receipt of the following donations:— Mrs B. M. Garrood 14s 6d, 15s; Mr C. Wood 1s 6d. *** From the pages of the Mornington Standard, 13 July 1918

THE MEANING OF EXISTENCE... AND OTHER SHORT STORIES

Oh me, Oh my, OBike By Stuart McCullough SO that’s it, then. After just a few short months, they’ve given up and shipped out. For good. And while their appearance seemed a truly mysterious thing, their exit from our fair city is not mysterious at all. We drove them to it. Which, given we’re talking about bicycles rather than cars, is perhaps the cruelest insult of them all. Having now broken their spirit, they decided to roll on to some less-hostile territory. So long, obikes. I first saw one when jogging. It was dark and I was pretty tired, and I’ll admit I was a little startled to see it. I simply didn’t understand why a yellow bicycle was standing on the side of the road as though someone had left it behind. It never occurred to me that it was on purpose. I jogged past hoping that the rightful owner might remember where it was he or she left it and that all would be right in the world. That, so I thought, was that. Until I saw another. It seemed so much more than mere coincidence. Or carelessness. It became clear to me that these yellow contraptions were a thing. A slightly confusing thing but a thing nevertheless. I assumed that this was some kind of broad-ranging art project, doubtless connected to some festival. But I was way off. They were, in fact, for riding. Apparently, you need an app and you scan something and then it’s unlocked. By which time you might as well have walked. The great attraction of the oBike was the fact that it was ‘dockless’ and could be left pretty much anywhere, which is

exactly what people did. It was as if we resented both the intrusion and their freedom and set about punishing them for it. OBikes were strewn across the country and abandoning one in the most obscure place possible became something of a national pastime. They were welded together, abandoned in trees and light

poles and thrown into the river en masse where they were left to rust in a watery grave. Frankly, we were cruel and we were mean. It begs the question: what was it about the oBike that made us so angry? Perhaps we fear change. Something new that challenges traditional ways of thinking can be difficult. Or maybe

it was the bike itself – would we have felt such antipathy if – for example – they’d used a brand of bike we all know and love, like a Malvern Star? Could it be that they were far too utilitarian for our tastes? Truth be told, the oBike was the cycling equivalent of a Trabant. You didn’t see packs of middle aged dudes in lycra riding along Beach Road on oBikes. I suspect the element of surprise kind of worked against them. They seemed to appear pretty much without warning or explanation and we resented the intrusion. The social contract had not been drafted, much less signed by all interested parties. They turned up without invitation and were treated as party crashers as a result. You can’t walk through a front door and then try to knock. You put people off that way. Our response was to treat it as an invasion of our turf and in a gang war, pretty much anything goes. It’s been ages since I’ve ridden a bike. As a kid, I evolved from a dragster through to a BMX without a second thought. Owning a bike is an essential piece of equipment that you have as a child. Along with a torch and a dressing gown, I couldn’t have imagined life without a bike back then. But for some reason, I haven’t ever owned a bike as an adult. That’s despite being middle aged and a perfect candidate for lycra – if, indeed, such a thing exists. The moment I could drive was the moment I left behind my bike. It’s still at my father’s place – he’s no doubt saving it just in case, some

twenty five years later, I should change my mind and decide that I really need to start riding a BMX again. It’s unlikely that I’ll feel overwhelmed by the need to perform jumps, bunny hops and monos anytime soon, but I’ll ask him to hang on to it. Just in case. I’m hoping he still has my torch and dressing gown. I miss them. After years not riding a bike, a ride on an oBike might have been the ideal way to get back into it. I’m not sure what was holding me back. Now it’s officially too late. I’ll never get the chance to cruise down to the milkbar and back or give anyone a dink. If dinking is still the done thing when it comes to bikes. (Come to think of it, when I see those large groups of riders on a Sunday morning, no one’s giving anybody a dink. It’s totally dinkless.) So farewell oBikes. Hopefully they’ll be collected up and released back into the wild where they can roam together across the open plains. Many years from now – once I’ve got my BMX back in working order – I’ll go for a long ride and see if I can spot a herd of them grazing together beside a river. Grazing beside a river would be a lot better than being thrown into one, that much is certain. Granted, they were a bit strange and were visual clutter of a kind, but I’m not sure why we know why we felt the need to punish them. Good luck to them. Long may they ride. stuart@stuartmccullough.com Mornington News 10 July 2018

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Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

10 July 2018  

Mornington News 10 July 2018

10 July 2018  

Mornington News 10 July 2018

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