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29 May 2017

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A Star News Group Publication

Record-breaking strike comes to an end

SPORT

Todhunter and Lavey sign on for Rangers

■ Memories of a life-long home face developers’ wrecking ball…

Heart is in home By Casey Neill

We slept out the back in the chook sheds, all us kids… Faye Crawford

Faye Crawford is finally saying goodbye to her family’s Dandenong home. 168748 Mary died when she was 77. “Twenty-seven years she was pregnant for,” Faye said. She gave birth to first child Jim in 1910 and Faye in 1937. Mary left the James Street home to her sister Vi, who was widowed and living in a Housing Commission house in David Street. Vi was planning to sell the family home. “I got upset at the thought of selling it,” Faye said and at age 32 she bought the house. Faye had been a single mother of two since she was 20 after her husband left when Shane was six

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months old and hasn’t been heard from since. “It’s just been a home for everybody,” she said. “Bobby played football. “They’d all come here on a Friday night and play cards. “We follow Dandenong, all of us. We used to go in a moving van - George Riddell! We used to all go to the football in his furniture truck. “We used to be standing up, hanging on, singing the Dandenong theme song. We had a great life, really, an excellent life. “You enjoy your life now, because it goes in a blink,” she said.

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Faye Crawford has called the same Dandenong house ‘home’ for almost 80 years. But now the last of 17 siblings is leaving the simple house at 49 James Street and another part of old Dandenong is likely to be demolished and replaced with townhouses. “Dandenong is a roof and four walls. The memories are in here,” she said, her hand pressed to her chest. “The memories are in my heart and in my head. “I’m ready. “The ground got too much for me. All the leaves and the mowing... “The house is falling down. “I can see it deteriorating before my eyes.” Faye pointed to the old out-house that remains the house’s primary toilet. She uses the oven as her heater. “This is time for me to go,” she said. Ms Crawford was to officially move out on Saturday 27 May, but when the Journal visited on Wednesday 24 May the house is near-empty and a furniture van had arrived. She’ll live in a new unit in Berwick. “I love Dandenong but it’s just, I don’t really visit a lot of the Plaza or anything,” she said. “I will miss the Lyndale shopping centre. “The people in there, I went and said goodbye to them all. “Everywhere I go there’ll be other places, there’ll be other shops. “I’ll miss Dandenong itself, but I will make a new life for myself in Berwick.” Ms Crawford, 79, moved into the two-bedroom home in Dandenong in 1940 at age three - the youngest of 17 children. “They’ve all passed away now. My siblings are gone,” she said. She cared for most during their final years. “We slept out the back in the chook sheds, all us kids,” she said. Rogers Poultry owned a chicken farm across the road “where the rats roamed free - and they were the size of dogs”, Ms Crawford’s son Shane said. Faye left Dandenong High School at age 14 when her father died and she had been offered a job at Bedggood’s Shoe Factory. “I didn’t have to. Mum (Mary) didn’t want me to,” she said. “Mum always made sure that we had enough. “She gave us everything, really.”

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Dandenong Journal Star - 29th May 2017  
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