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© John Flatt 2015

I'm a Geelong-ite and proud of it... 

Born here and died here - twice (but, that's another story).

 

I lived initially with my grandparents, mother (Geelong's first female tram conductor) on the SE corner of Aberdeen and Shannon in Newtown; over the road from the Great Western hotel; my dad was away serving in Darwin, Borneo and Sarawak.  

 

Those were the days when:

  • a blacksmith had his forge 100 yards further along 'West Melbourne Road' 

  • I would grab pieces of ice from the back of the ice-man's wagon

  • my pop would collect manure left on the road by the baker's horse

  • the '6 o'clock swill' was in full sway

  • I was fascinated by workers in the Newberry Enamelling Works in Lupton Street

 

We moved to Mano in the mid-50s; a period when as a youngster (9 - 12 years) I could safely disappear with my mates (Robbo, Fitchie, Cookie, Geoff, Brian and Donny) for the day; with the simple instruction that I be back "before the street lights went on".

 

It was a great time and I well remember:

  • wagging school (St Pat's) - to spend the day on the large rope piles behind  Donaghy's Rope Works, Geelong West

  • snatching golf balls from the Geelong Golf Club course, North Geelong, for sale to the owner of the Mano news agency and for whom I had two paper-rounds

  • sampling freshly-baked loaves from the cooling racks in the doorway of Kelly's bakery

  • delivering newspapers throughout Geelong West, Manifold Heights, Herne Hill,     Hamlyn Heights and North Geelong

  • riding the larger sheep and rams in pens at the North Geelong saleyards and abattoirs and gruesomely watching workers ply their bloody trade. I would later return as a book-keeper (for a year in 1960)

  • participating in billy-cart races down a seemingly much-steeper Manifold Street

  • exploring sources of a large storm-water drain (with hand-held, oil-soaked torches) that emptied into the gulley off Church Street (almost diagonally opposite the Saleyards hotel)

  • attempting to climb end-to-end the cyprus hedge bordering Peter Lowe reserve in Minerva road (without touching the ground)

  • collecting stones (perfect for my shangie) from graves in the Mano cemetery

  • Guy Fawkes bonfires in the paddock fronting Purrambeet Avenue

  • day-long hikes to the Moorabool and Barwon valleys - building rafts, visiting the old tip (where, with screwdrivers, we would strip aluminium from car wrecks for resale to Albert Batty Scrap Metal in Gertrude Street), exploring the cement works / railway lines / tunnels, standing on the now non-existent tressel bridge as trains hauled their carriages by), playing in potentially-deadly caves in the cliff-face overlooking Fyansford, getting into the cement works via a tunnel we'd discovered in the hillside above Hyland Street (perhaps an emergency evacuation or air shaft)

  • many camps (1st Newtown scout group) in a sheltered flat surrounded by huge hills of quarry tailings beside the concrete-tiered section of the Moorabool river.

 

Now, after having survived a somewhat traumatic life-changing experience,

my wife and I are enjoying our new home in my old-time haunt; now Gen Fyansford Riverside estate. 

 

So, here's cheers!  To the roller-coaster that my life has become...

 

It is no coincidence that I am the moderator of  Fyansford.com

and  Fyansford.com/blog

 

  • as a teacher of children in regular classrooms and with gifted students in supplementary programs

  • as a presenter of in-service training programs for teachers, administrators, college lecturers and members of the community

  • as a teaching-program writer with The Learning Federation, at MAV conferences and in India 

My pre-retirement life experiences have almost mandated such roles...

But, more importantly it's my interest in, experience with and love of writing, creative thinking and publishing that has lead me here...

  • commercial publications (with books published in Australia, USA, England and                                                                                        India

  • self-publishing