THIS IS OUR TOWN EXHIBITION

Holding an exhibition can be a bit nerve wracking. How will the hanging go? Will anyone show up for the opening? What will people think of it? What will I think of it?

All these thought were going through my mind while driving to Adelaide for the launch, on the 31st of July, of  ‘THIS IS OUR TOWN’ at the Playford Civic Centre.

I needn’t have worried. All went very well with a great turnout and lots of positive feedback. It was particularly pleasing to see the local Elizabethans engage with the photographs.

I even did some radio (with Sonya Feldhoff on the ABC and Andrew Bunney on 3D Radio) which was most enjoyable, and, also got some press.

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The Bunyip August 1 2018

Photos from the opening –

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Opening talk

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Part of the crowd

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Feeling a bit chuffed

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With Phil and Cricket Fox

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Mike and Vera checking it out

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This pic got a lot of interest and comments

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With the delightful Hannah Yates who kindly sang at the opening

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Signage

More signage-

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Outside the Playford Civic Centre

I gave an artist talk on the following Saturday which was also well attended. It was good to see some old faces!

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Blah, blah!

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There’s that photo again …

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The man on the floor is the ‘performance art’ section of the show

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An overall view of the exhibition

All in all, a most satisfying experience. Now for the book!

The exhibition will remain open until August the 24th at the Playford Civic Centre, 10 Playford Boulevard, Elizabeth

 

 

 

Some old photos

This is my story board for ‘This is our town’. I love this process.

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To give some context regarding where I come from and why I am doing this project, I’ve added old postcards and old photos of mine. Here are some of them …

Skating Rink

The old Skating Rink, circa 1978, since long gone. Roller skating was a very popular activity back in the day.

 

Octogon

The Octagon Theatre. Amongst many other events, back in the late 60s and early 70s many great local and interstate bands played here. Since demolished.

Dust storm 1968 (?)

The great dust storm of 1968. Photographer, Forbes Fotography.

Celebrity Coffee Lounge 1979

Some local lads hangin’ round the Celebrity Coffee Lounge at Elizabeth Shopping Centre, 1979.

Craigmore 1983

Craigmore, 1983. From the series ‘Suburban Landscapes’.

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Partially demolished flats adjacent to the Elizabeth Shopping Centre, 1996. This is the site for the future Playford Arena.

 

My Brother at the back of our old place

My brother Rindert (RIP) at the back of our old place in Elizabeth East. Early 70s.

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An old postcard. Date unknown. The statue and fountain have since been relocated.

Cruisin’ …

Usually when I visit Elizabeth for meetings I like to go cruising around looking out for interesting things to photograph.

On one particular visit recently the weather gods were smiling down giving me just the right kind of cloud cover that I love.

 

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Futura site, Edinburgh Park

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Doggies Mural, Edinburgh Park

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Elizabeth Vale

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Elizabeth Grove

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Philip Highway

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Elizabeth Shopping Centre

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I photographed this old ‘double banger’ back in 2015 …

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That same, much improved, site now.

Rear Admiral the Hon Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (Rtd)

The current Chancellor of the University of Adelaide served as SA’s Governor from 2007 to 2014. What many people may not know is that Kevin Scarce left Elizabeth as a 15-year-old to join the Navy, the start of a highly distinguished career that saw him attain the rank of Rear Admiral. Even with a long list of honours and achievements, Kevin is very down to earth. His links to his home town remain strong. As for Elizabeth’s future post-Holden, he feels “cautiously optimistic”.

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Grace Community Church of Christ

For the local South Sudanese community, having access to the Elizabeth Church of Christ on a Sunday enables them to gather together and worship. This they do with much colour, singing and vibrancy, an uplifting experience to witness. Many have suffered in ways that can be hard to comprehend. A combined service is held each month where all members of Elizabeth Church of Christ can attend. For the South Sudanese community this is a wonderful opportunity to integrate and get to know the broader community.

Playford City Tennis Centre

Spruence Road oval, the scene of many footy, soccer and cricket matches over the last fifty odd years has undergone a major transformation. Provided by the City of Playford Council, the Playford City Tennis Centre is an impressive sight. For some, there can’t help be a slight touch of nostalgia thinking about playing on that ground with their mates in their younger days…

 

April 2016

April 2016

July 2016

February 2016

August 2017

May 2018

 

Sonny Morey

 

It’s a bit disarming to hear Sonny Morey speak about being one of the Stolen Generation. His manner is so matter of fact that it would be easy to miss the implications of what it would have been like to be torn from family and country at a young age.

It wasn’t until many years later, through the freedom of information act, that Sonny found out that he had sisters and nephews with whom he is now in contact. Sadly his mother and father had passed away before he was able to reconnect with his family.

After spending time at St Francis House in Adelaide, Sonny was taken into foster care in Gawler. While in High School, there was a belief at the time that Australian Aboriginal people wouldn’t survive. They didn’t make much of an effort for an indigenous kid from the territory.

This didn’t deter Sonny however. After school he found work as an apprentice fitter and machinist with the Postmaster-General’s Department (The P.M.G., now Telstra).

Meanwhile, Sonny began his football career playing for Gawler Central. This led to him playing in the inaugural Central Districts League team in 1964. He is proud of the fact that he had the first kick for the club in the competition. He went on to become the first player at Central Districts to play 200 games garnering admiration, respect and many awards along the way.

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One of Sonny’s early jumpers on display at Centrals

In the 1980s Sonny was approached by the South Australian Police (S.A.P.O.L.) to work in Community Policing.

Stationed in Elizabeth, where he was familiar with the region and it’s people, Sonny worked closely with the local Aboriginal community.

For Sonny, policing was a way to help the community, particularly to help young people get back on the right track.

Now retired, Sonny looks back at his time at S.A.P.O.L with mixed feelings. He feels that he was able to make some difference. However, he was hoping to see a better way of doing things with regards to the Aboriginal community and feels that this is still not working very well.

Meanwhile, Sonny maintains his relationship with S.A.P.O.L. as a patron of the academy.

When asked why he retired from S.A.P.O.L. when he did, Sonny replied “I was getting too old to chase crooks!”

These days Sonny likes to spend his leisure time chasing golf balls around the Sandy Creek Golf Club.

 

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Sonny at the beautiful Sandy Creek Golf Club.

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

To all that have been following and taking an interest in this project, your on going support and encouragement are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I’d like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

I’ll be looking forward to adding new posts here as well as visiting Elizabeth again in 2018.

All the best,

Eric Algra

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Never too old to Rock and Roll

Since 2010, members of the Silver Beat Rock Choir have been shaking the foundations of the Grenville Community Connections Hub in Elizabeth each Monday at rehearsal.

Now numbering up to 40 members, these over-65s sure know how to rock – and defy stereotypes.

They love performing and do so as often as they can. They’ve entertained at nursing homes, the Adelaide Convention Centre and the Festival Theatre. Mostly older people, the audiences are always appreciative, more often than not ready to leap up and dance and sing along.

One of the choir’s favorites is the Angels classic, ‘Am I Ever Gonna See your Face Again?’ Between them Silver Beat members changed the lyrics to ‘We Don’t Ever Have To Go To Work Again’. The notorious audience response the Angels provoked during live performances, a quintessential Aussie expression, has also been softened to the more polite, ‘No Way, Get Lost’.

Founding member Lyn Howard always feels energised after Silver Beat rehearsals and performances and says her involvement is a great deal of fun, as it is for all choir members. There is also an important social side that they value. Many choir members live alone and get help and hope through participating in Silver Beat.

Lyn says she’ll continue singing until she can’t do it anymore.

She told of a recently departed choir member who held forth until the ripe old age of 91. The choir sang at her funeral, where she was buried in her Silver Beat costume, replete with a mauve wig, headband and fishnet stockings and mittens.

That’s dedication.

Lyn Howard

Lyn, at home with Piper.

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And at rehearsal.

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No way, get lost!

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The set list.

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‘These boots are made for walking.’

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No surprise that they would sing this old favorite.

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The band.

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Having fun.

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All together now . . .

Celebrating the end of an era

The closure of Holden was a sad occasion. The reaction to it underlined Holden’s incredible success in creating generations of loyal Holden devotees creating a whole community of like-minded enthusiasts.

Leading up to the closure, on Sunday the 15th of October, thousands of those enthusiasts flocked to Elizabeth for the Holden Dream Cruise and Family Fun Day.

They lined the streets of the route of the Cruise and cheered the close to 1200 Holdens of every vintage and model that passed by.

It’s fair to say that the Cruise was a huge success. It achieved its goal of being a celebration of Holden, it’s workers and Holden owners.

The atmosphere amongst the people watching was terrific, lots of banter and laughs. However, hanging over the day was the shadow of the coming closure. Amongst the celebration was a tinge of sadness . . .

Later, many attended the Family Fun Day at the Elizabeth Oval, home of Central Districts footy club.

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Just a few of the many Holdens cruising past the Holden plant.

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A small section of the large crowd gathered on the cruise route.

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Flying the flag.

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There was a lot of Holden red on display.

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A happy cruiser.

 

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Arriving at Elizabeth Oval for the Family Fun Day.

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BurnoutBand. These young guys rocked a small but very appreciative audience.

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Part of the crowd enjoying a beautiful sunny day at Elizabeth Oval.

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Back at the Holden plant, people were parking their cars on the lawns for photographs.