My Musings on Life.

Throughout my past 70 years, I have never been able to understand why mankind, (especially me) never seems to have the ability to gain enduring happiness and satisfaction.

There have been numerous occasions when I have experienced total engagement with life and had a complete belief in the fact, that, all the events of my past experiences have been favorable to me, and, for a short while that satisfaction of being completely fulfilled has been deep and at times even joyous, and possibly the closest to what I imagine to be complete satisfaction with life.

Conversely, however, those good feelings are continually interrupted with unforeseen and unexpected  occurrences that have at times led me down the path to the deepest, darkest, caverns of my mind, where I have endured lengthy episodes of being incapable of dealing with the current circumstances of what life has served up to me, and, that pain causes me to ponder, will this period of  unhappiness ever leave me.

Given the above description is universal and simplistic and can be deemed as “generic thinking” in written form for so many of us, the actuality of it remains comprehensively vast, and, at times insurmountable. These events are not unique to me alone, but in varying degrees and magnitude are shared by us all as an inherent aspect of the human condition.

One major concern for me is the gathering together of the sad times that visit me when trying to sleep,and, those thoughts keep me awake for much of the night, but, only to find in the light of day, whilst the nights mind games cannot be ignored due to their reality in my waking hours, they occasionally are not always as bad as the night portrays them to be and at times as bad as they can be.

As I am writing this, it is 7 am on a Sunday morning in early winter of June 2018, and one of those sleepless nights have again paid me a visit. I have just made myself a cup of tea and moved into my office, and, from where my desk is positioned, I’m able to see my front garden bathing in the early morning dew and sunlight that causes the leaves on my Maple and Silver Birch trees to exhibit the beautiful colors of late autumn in all their splendor.

The contradiction of all this beauty is that this magnificence is coming from a phase of the tree’s dying off period for their winter hibernation.

Farther past the two tree’s can be seen the pinkish/red clouds of a new day against a deep  blue sky, all further enhancing the varying shades of red and yellow colors of the leaves to gift me a potential joyous welcome to a new day. This can provide me the opportunity to once again reset my thinking and strive to find the courage to enjoy the numerous non material blessings bestowed, but, to also reflect on ongoing reciprocal problems and occasional misfortunes.

This daily review of circumstances is my constant companion that takes me to the heights of joy and almost to the abyss of despair when some events are such they appear unresolvable.

I suppose that on both speaking and listening to many others life stories , I must somehow strive to reach an acceptance and conclusion, that, my emotional roller coaster is, in fact, an inherent aspect of being human, and peace will not find me until “maybe” I can accept the good and bad as being somewhat equal and in balance.

Life’ events could be described as “If that’s the way it is that’s the way it is“!

If only it could be as cut and dried as mentioned, for then, life may be more tolerable, however, our free will does offer us some opportunity to maybe lessen our lot in life. If we keep thinking and doing the same thing over and over again we will always get the same outcome, therefore,  its not until we seriously stop, and take stock of our life and maybe reconsider, and, act upon other options we have previously never tried or said no to, we might just be able to bring change and more happiness and positivity into our life.

  • So how do we do this, well, for me it has meant becoming more involved with other people, joining a Men’s Discussion Group and Probus, where I now meet with others of similar age and realize behind the laughter and smiles of others, there always is lurking circumstances or events that effect us all at one time or another.
  • Ensuring that I am physical active most days of the week and expose myself to natural light and go to the gym as both generate more positive brain hormones to be released and lift my mood.
  • Eating only healthy food (most of the time).
  • and continue learning through study and striving to never give up, even when all hope seems to have faded.

My final conclusions are that every one of us, at some time or another, are confronted with either physical, mental, emotional or financial anxieties, and in order, where possible conquer them, we must have the courage and endeavor to continually reach out of our present situation and make the necessary modifications to our life, otherwise nothing changes and life can pass us by!

Apart from that, it is still very good to be alive!



Lee Chenoweth

Life has been very interesting and exciting:

  • Near the Dartmouth Dam I have crawled onto a large tiger snake and had its head hovering just a few centimetres from my nose

  • I have been tracked by a large wolf while alone in Kazakhstan

  • In Uzbekistan I was captured by Islamic terrorists and later released without incident after sharing a sheep with them

  • At Benambra in the Australian Alps I have fallen over a cliff

  • Near General Santos in the southern Philippines I was targeted for a kidnapping but the kidnappers could not work out where my gun was (I did not have one)

  • In Kazakhstan I have watched a Soviet rocket launch into orbit

  • Near Boulia in Queensland had a fierce snake (desert taipan) between my feet while I cracked a rock next to its head

  • In Moscow I attended the Bolshoi Theatre with the Russian and Chinese leaders to see Swan Lake (the equivalent of a Royal Command Performance) performed by the Bolshoi Ballet

  • In northern Laos I sat on an unexploded bomb from the Vietnam War in a formal meeting with a village chief (many large bombs lined the central street through the village for use as seats)

  • I have undertaken successful industrial espionage over a new gold discovery in Queensland

  • I have been bitten on the top of my rubber boot by a large and angry brown snake, even though the ground was covered with snow and it should have been hibernating

  • I have eaten a meal in the same restaurant as Australia’s richest man at that time (Lang Hancock)

  • I was nearly shot in Laos when I blundered into a large opium crop ready for harvesting.


The Lost Recipe

There comes a time when we all actually get serious about cleaning out our “stuff”, items we no longer need, but still retain for various obscure reasons.

We recently helped my daughter and partner move house and I was amazed at the amount of “stuff” they had accumulated after only eight years together. This prompted me to get serious about getting my own house in order, sorting out my historical detritus.

It’s a complex, difficult process, more emotional than physical. Particularly with sorting through old items of one’s parents. It’s as though your childhood is finally slipping away into the darkness, it’s a type of guilt about disposing of items which once meant something to them. But there is little stuff that I would personally use, and I know my children would not be interested in these superfluous snapshots of family history.

With Dad, I have many memories and reminders. The piles of his writing, the boxes of slides, and a few treasured old tools. With mum, it’s not so easy, she was mainly involved in the garden club. But thinking about her life, if there was one particular remnant I would choose to mentally retain it would be her cooking. It was her role in the family. The Sunday roasts, the apple pies, but particularly her famous tasty Christmas pudding.

From a young age I looked forward to Christmas day on my aunt’s farm on the Mornington Peninsular.  For lunch, the huge dining table seated a horde of assorted uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, friends and other hangers on, to consume a massive meal.  After the main Christmas course, all would keenly await the highlight of the day – the grand entrance of the pudding.  This icon would be carried into the room by my mum, the maker, and would be flaming with lashings of brandy, (in itself a fire danger in the old timber cottage.)

We would devour the pudding, hoping to get a thruppence or sixpence, which sadly we had to return for next year’s pudding.  There were second helpings, laughter and compliments to mum that this was her best pudding yet.  Then onto the second highlight of the day, giving out presents.

This ritual lasted for decades.   Faces changed, older family died, cousins brought new partners, grandchildren arrived, but mum always made the pudding.  In October, the annual process would begin.  Mum would spread the ingredients on the old timber kitchen table, and clamp on the heavy cast iron hand mincer. I played a critical role as the suet mincer, laboriously but proudly mincing up a huge pile of suet, at that young age not knowing what this tough sinewy stuff was.  Mum would start up the big Sunbeam mixmaster; we would all give the mix a stir with the old wooden spoon, throw in the money and make a wish.

Dad’s role was to maintain a steady fire to steam the pudding for eight hours. Our old house in Clifton Hill had an outside laundry with a huge copper boiler..  He would rig up a device to support the pudding by its cloth loop at the right height, and every hour would stoke the fire and top up the water.  Finally the pudding would be hung in its cloth ball in the laundry until Christmas day.

The huge family gatherings finally ended, but mum still made a smaller pudding for the immediate family.  After she died, dad continued the tradition until he died.  All this time, I never actually knew what the pudding contained, as mum refused to give away her recipe, and dad continued this secrecy.  We were simply happy to enjoy the rich sticky tasty treat.  When he died I found the recipe, scribbled on a piece of tattered paper in an old diary.

By that time I had forgotten about the suet, and was horrified to see what we had been eating all those years —  slabs of saturated fat, plantations of sugar, chocolate, gallons of alcohol, all bound together by healthier mixed fruits, but topped by a sugary creamy custard sauce.  Great for me as a diabetic.  My wife was horrified at what her mother in law had fed her. I thought it best to keep quiet about the huge tub of lard in mum’s fridge, used to baste the rich Sunday roasts, which all enjoyed.

In honour of my dear old mum, I made her pudding, only once, the first Christmas after dad died when the recipe came to light.  It was not as tasty as mum’s, as I left out the suet, and went easy on the sugar, but my family enjoyed it and I had fun telling the kids tales about their gran and pop and aunt May’s farm.  It brought back happy memories of our big family, now dispersed, and about our times on the farm a long time ago.

The recipe?  Long since gone.  I recently spent hours searching through old recipe boxes, through my parents’ papers, and I couldn’t find it.  I would not have thrown it out, and it must be somewhere in the house, and may turn up one day, maybe my kids will find it when I go. But in the process I had a beautifully poignant time, trawling through mum’s old recipes, dad’s old stories, ancient photos and the memories of my early life.

Out of curiosity, I googled “old fashioned plum pudding” and hundreds of hits came up, all with the same type of ingredients, including the suet.  This was slightly surprising as I thought mum’s recipe was unique, but clearly many mums in that era were busily boiling up puddings pre Christmas, and their little kids were busily mincing suet. But I guess the eating environment gives each pudding its own unique flavour.

In mum’s memory here is an old imperial recipe which from my early memories seems to most resemble her one. For the fun of it, I may make it one Christmas, and we would greedily and guiltily consume the sinful product, but I reluctantly think not. Maybe a synthetic suet pudding will suffice.


The could have been mum’s Christmas suet pudding.”

4 oz plain flour

2 oz dark chocolate grated

1 teaspoon mixed spice

6 oz fresh white breadcrumbs

10 oz suet ground

8 oz brown sugar

2 oz dried apples and apricots

2 lbs raisins, currants and chopped dates

2 oz hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds chopped

zest of one lemon and orange

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

1 teaspoon almond essence

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon honey

qtr pint dark rum or brandy

Visit to Ellis Cottage

Ellis Cottage WPEllis Cottage 2

On Tuesday, men from Diamond Creek OM:NI visited Ellis Cottage just north east of Diamond Creek. The cottage was built out of uncut local stone circa 1885 by William Ellis, who with his nephew Nathaniel Ellis, established a model farm on 150 acres on the site now known as Ellis Park.

In 1850 William Ellis purchased a large portion of land between Diamond Creek East and Wattle Glen. A successful farmer and businessman, Ellis also purchased land in Yarra Glen, Diamond Creek, Woodstock and Greensborough.

The cottage and grounds houses the Nillumbik Historical Society’s collection of historic photographs and documents of pioneering families from the area.

Unfortunately Daryl was unable to obtain the recipe for the delicious scones we had for morning tea.


Cota’s Morning Tea

Council On The Ageing

I was looking at the wicking boxes of free vegetables growing at the station platform. It was trying to rain as the silver train slowly stopped to pick up more commuters heading to the mysteries of Melbourne. Ken and I said goodbye to David as he went to do battle with Centrelink in Greensborough and we continued on to the big smoke. It was now a typical scene on the train with computers, iPhone’s and not a newspaper to be seen and as we chatted we felt like aliens among robots.

Arriving at Flagstaff  Station at about 9-30, a bit early, we walked down a cobblestone lane way to view a blue-stone building wall and to our amazement there were several two tone brown Sparrows waiting to dive down and check out the menu in the open rubbish bins, there was a man sitting there also, with his shoes off, eating some kitchen offerings. Back into Lonsdale St and up to level 4 a different world, clean bright and cheery faces of all the invitees to Cota’s Volunteer’s Morning Tea.

What a very impressive attendance of mixed cultures and volunteers both men and women who support all those aged in need of direction. Cota knits many services together and helps the aged in their golden years. A 100-year-old man gave a heartfelt speech and support for both Cota and OM:NI. After the awards and speech’s Cota put on a wonderful morning tea enjoyed by all and networking was further fertilized among Melbourne and Geelong volunteers.

Leaving, we stopped for a while in Lonsdale St, amazed at the variety of people’s dress from Barristers wigs and all, office attire, workers, shoppers and a homeless man huddled under a thin blanket with a skinny dog shivering from cold and hunger – a street displaying the wealthy and the homeless.

Like two rabbits heading for home we scurried down the staircases of Flagstaff  Rail Station and boarded the Eltham train, you never know who you may meet on a long silver train, it’s very random which carriage you get into and who you sit next too but a smile can engage the most amazing encounter and enter Olaf, an amazing young man with technical skills and a great personality in conversation we found he lived at the end of the same street as Ken in the same suburb!  

Arriving back home I felt so humble, a warm home a welcome from my wife, cat and a comfy lounge chair to sink back into reminisce over the day’s experience and watch the log fire turn into red embers as I slipped into a welcome warm slumber time.

Autumn at Robe – SA

We are having a restful Autumn break away in South Australia, good to get away from the routines at home.

After Warrnambool the weather gradually improved as we drove west. The weather has been mostly overcast but some blue skies and the cold wind has gone despite our unit over-looking Hooper Bay.

A Chance Encounter

The ride had started nicely. It was a sunny Tuesday afternoon, my solo riding day; I can ride where I like, explore trails, without having to follow the wishes of the Thursday cycling group. That day I had suddenly decided to explore a new trail, branching off from the main track to Warrandyte, reached by a wide gate.

To my delight it began well; the track was a gently winding dirt one, following the river on my left, so according to my calculations I could casually ride back to Fitzsimmons Lane, a fairly short distance.

However, the track steadily became rougher, steeper and rocky, seeming also to veer away from the river. After a while I lost my bearings, but hoped the track would eventually head back to Eltham. But the track petered out into a steeply hilled area, with power lines leading in a straight line into the distance. Definitely lost, but feeling safe, I reasoned it would be too far retracing my steps, the power lines must lead to somewhere familiar.

A rocky four wheel drive trail followed the pylons. I had to walk up the steep rises and carefully ride down the descents. The thought flashed into my mind about what was I doing here, a seventy year old man in a deserted location, with no help around if anything went awry. My Cyclo Cross bike was certainly designed for severe off road riding, but maybe the rider was not designed for this purpose.

The outcome was predictable. On a really steep descent, I took a chance and began to carefully ride down but lost braking control, started skidding and finally crashed. Fortunately I came to rest on top of a four metre high embankment leading into a steep gully. One metre more and I would have been in serious trouble.

The bike was undamaged, but my knee was badly swollen and painful, I must have knocked it on a rock. The only option was to keep following the trail to civilisation. Finally a fence and house appeared, then another. To my relief, the trail then ended at Beasley’s Nursery, and I rode slowly and painfully home, where after checking the Melways I realised I had gone the wrong way, upstream rather than down, straying into a Parks Victoria reserve. Heading away from Fitzsimmons Lane.

Later that night, I reflected on the event, ruefully realising that it had happened entirely by chance — Why?

Because two months earlier, on the same ride to Warrandyte, at that gate, I had answered my mobile. As I remounted my bike, a man walking past suddenly stopped and started a conversation, mentioning that past a nearby gate, over a bridge, there was a track along the other side of the river that cyclists used. In all my years of cycling this area I had never seen that track, nor seen cyclists on the other river bank, so I thanked him and rode off, convinced he was mistaken.

So on that sunny fateful Tuesday a month later, as I was passing this same bend heading to Warrandyte, on a pure whim, thinking about what the stranger had said, I stopped at the gate, which was normally locked. Now the padlock had been changed to a latch. Naturally I passed through the gate and rode to the bridge. To my surprise, I realised the stranger had told the truth, because a bike trail began. Naturally again, I decided to follow it, as every good cyclist would, with my crash being the unexpected end result.

If my phone had not rung at that exact moment; if the stranger had not appeared at that precise time, if the gate had been locked; I would have remained blissfully unaware of that bloody trail, would have casually continued to Warrandyte and safety home, looking forward to the Thursday ride with the guys.

Instead, as directed by my doctor, who diagnosed a knee hematoma, and prescribed rest, I have been dolefully sitting inside on the healing couch, leg elevated, ice compress in place rather than being cheerfully perched on a bike seat, eagerly traversing familiar and safe trails with the Thursday peloton.

Curiously enough, the topic for the week’s writing group was the expression “chance would be a fine thing.” A fine phrase, meaning ‘it would be lovely if something was to happen, but it most likely won’t.’

It sadly occurred to me that this definitely applied to my unfortunate episode. As I was precariously riding down that steep rocky hill, the thought furiously flashed into my mind was that it would indeed be a lovely thing if I could not crash, but this looked more unlikely the further and faster I descended.

Hopefully, I should be back on the bike shortly, having fun with the Thursday peloton pedalling on our familiar safe trails. The lesson has finally sunk into my

Septuagenarian brain that sometimes it’s not worth taking a chance.

Daryl Morrow

Nicknames: Dazza, Turner, ‘o’ wise one, OD.
DOB: 2/2/1941 – born in Colac. Victoria, Australia.
Parents Names: Mary – Mum
Les (Leslie) – Dad
Siblings: 2 Brothers – William (Bill) and Skeet (Terrence)

Story line of Daryl Morrow circa 1941



It was very difficult growing up. We had no electricity, no radio, no TV and didn’t even know about TVs until back in 1956. When it did arrive it was Black and White reception. We had a tin bath on iron legs and bath water from the tank was heated by a wood chip heater. The pipes would fracture if too much steam was created. Even our refrigerator was powered by kerosene. Our toilet was outside, up a long dirt path in a separate tin shed with a black billy container which had to be emptied once per week. To get there at night we used a candle which often blew out in the wind. Toilet paper was torn up paper and speared onto a nail that had been hammered into the wood noggin.

When we got a valve radio we could only get one station – 3CS. To listen to the radio we had to take a 6-volt battery out of the 1948 Ford truck and put it in the radio. I grew up on the family property of 110 acres of bush-land that we cleared to grow grass for the start of a dairy to milk cows and to produce pork from pigs. Growing up my main chore was milking the cows in the muddy yard and rain. This was done twice daily seven days a week for ten months of the year, also splitting and taking wood up to the house for Mum’s stove for heating and baking High Tin bread. The meals were mainly stews, spuds and Roly Poly puddings. Sometimes we had a bread and butter pudding. I had to go out in my spare time and hunt rabbits or go fishing for meals, although I was lucky because living on a dairy farm meant we produced all our milk, cream and butter, as well as some seasonal veggies.

Later bread got delivered to our house twice a week. Phil the delivery man delivered bread throughout a large part of the Otway Ranges. He used to eat his sandwiches whist driving. He died one day whilst driving. He was on his way to a delivering some farmer’s bread. His wife had poisoned his sandwiches.

My family and I lived six miles from town so we only went to town once a week to get food and farm supplies. We went to town every Thursday because it was market day, where farm stock was sold by auction. I attended Barongarook primary school. The school had six grades in one room. There were twelve children in the whole school, with one teacher for all the classes. The school’s heating was just one big wood open fire.

We never had very much sporting gear so we relied on running, long jump, tunnel ball, high jump and pole vaulting, using a cut bush stick for a pole. Most sports were competed in bare feet. When competing with other remote schools we only had hard ground, with no grass or sand. We had to take a cut lunch, but cordial was often provided. Raspberry cordial! What a treat!

After primary school I attended Colac High school. I walked along a gravel road for two miles to get to the bus stop and then I would go to school six miles away in Colac. I went there until Year 9. It was very upsetting having to leave school. On 2nd February the following year I actually broke down and cried because my schooling was over.

I left school when I was 15 and worked on our family dairy farm, cutting wood in the forest and growing potatoes, but I made no personal income. I wanted to carry on with school but our family’s economic situation would not allow this to happen.

I had a beautiful red Kelpie, which was my hunting dog. His name was Red. We hunted rabbits and went fishing for trout and eels together along the Barwon River flats. Sometimes we slept out all night together under our old green army coat to awake with a white frost on us.

When I was sixteen I started boxing and was quite successful in the Western District. I wanted to continue with boxing and thought of it as being a possible career, although I didn’t have any family support and it was a twelve mile bike ride to training. My bike never had mudguards or any lights, so I had to give it up.

I was driving cars and tractors around before I was 18 although I didn’t end up getting my license until I was 19. A nice gentleman offered to come with me in his car – a two door Morris Minor – to get my license. The policeman got in the back seat told me to drive around the block, whilst he talked to the owner of the car. On arriving back to the station the policeman said “Okay, come in and sit down”. The only question he asked me was “Have you got a 10 shillings note?” Lucky I did have 10 bob. And that was it – I was licensed to drive.

The Korean War was during my primary school years. I believed that this war was going to be the end of all world conflict. The Vietnam War was also fought while I was growing up, although I was lucky and missed out on the ballot system to attend that war. I have

ANZAC dawn service – Watsonia

always believed that ‘that war was what tore America apart and split the country’. I am very thankful never to have had to go to war and I believe the citizens should not be accountable and be involved in the war. The leaders are the ones that got the country involved, “why should the citizens sacrifice their sons and daughters”.


When I was in high school at age 14 I made an iron snake statue in metal work classes. I am 77 now and still have my beloved black snake.
For three years my best friend in high school was David Balcombe. It was difficult to remain friends when we left school, because there was no electronics like mobile phones or iPads. It was only in the late Fifties the late that we got a wind up wall phone. Even then you had to ring the telephone exchange and ask to be connected to a particular number, and the exchange closed at 9pm. The only other way of contact was to ride bikes or walk miles in order to see friends. Many a time they were not home. Strange as it may seem we both married girls named Florence.
David’s father was a shearer and he got me a job as roustabout in the sheds, sweeping the floors and penning the sheep as well as throwing the fleece. I learned how to control the Kelpie work dogs. it was a great learning curve that I loved. I worked 5 days and got £20 a week ($40) plus keep. After traveling and working around Western Victoria and parts of NSW and SA I wanted to become a shearer because the money was so good and you only worked five days a week. On my first full day, from 7.30am to 5.30pm I shore 77 Merino sheep and I was so exhausted that I could barely walk to the shearers’ quarters or eat my evening meal. I met many hardened true Aussies around the shed. They were hard as nails but with hearts of gold. It was here I learned the value of drinking long neck cold beer after a hard day’s work. I also learned it was a lonely life as a shearers’ cook. Men are so hard to please! At Penshurst the team sacked the cook and on Monday a person from Tattslotto came to the shed looking for him as he had one won first prize of £10,000 ($20,000 of today’s money). Boy, was the team pissed off about all that free beer they had missed out on!

Sheep and cattle were in my blood, so after Florence and I got married we worked on farms and large acreage stations. We got $36 a week and we were provided with our house, eggs, milk and meat. Bear in mind you worked six days a week from 7.30 am to 6 pm and got half a day a month to go shopping in town some forty miles away.

In February 1966 decimal currency became our new currency, replacing our Pounds Shillings and Pence. Monetary values were: one pound =2 dollars; one shilling = 10 cents; one pence = 1 cent. We went to a family owned grocery store in Hamilton run by an elderly mum and dad who asked us to work out the amount we owed them, you may laugh but many people found the change over hard to adjust to, and even harder when metric measures replaced Feet and Inches.

In 1970 I managed a cattle farm in Kangaroo Ground (750 acres). One day I went out to round up cattle and the horse – a 17 hand Arab – lost his footing and crushed me onto big rocks and broke some of my limbs, jaw and teeth. I was concussed for 48 hours and spent many days in the Austin Hospital. This was the time Whitlam was Prime Minister and he offered adults free education to further their skills. The Whitlam program of further education was offered to me because of the accident. I took up this offer and completed my leaving certificate and a 5 year course in Real Estate at Prahran College, where I achieved my full Real Estate license. At the same time I was working in real estate at KG McGorlick Real Estate in Eltham.

I had my first date with Florence who worked at the market. I would see her on Thursday, the market day. Boy, could she carve up a pumpkin with that meat cleaver! She was working in the fruit and veg market. She was a pretty good looking sort, with big flashy eyes and a smile like the sunrise. Anyhow, I went on to marry her when she was 18 and I was 19 and we are still together now. I used to ride my bike six miles to get to her to go to the movies which only cost 1 shilling. I met Florence at the market as I held up the chooks and ducks for the auctioneer to sell and she worked amongst the cabbages and pumpkins on the other side of the arcade walkway. We never really concentrated on our jobs on Thursdays for some reason. Later my Dad told me he delivered wood to her family home. What luck! Even Dad thought she was a good looking Heifer.

Florence and I married in Colac. It was a small happy ceremony with just both families in church. We had our honeymoon in Mount Gambier and Adelaide.
Florence and I went on to have two children: one boy, Steve, who was born in Casterton on 1 January 1961, a New Year’s Day baby, and one girl, Cindy, who was born in Willaura on 13 December 1962.

We went on to be grandparents. Cindy had two children, Kathleene and Luke, and Steve had three children, Kimberly, Jacqueline and Monique.

I have always said I loved having a daughter as I never had a sister and having a son was so self-fulfilling. We had replaced ourselves as the Government had advised people to do so as to avoid over population. Looking back now, that didn’t work!

Cindy attended Kangaroo Ground Primary School for three years. Steve and Cindy attended Hurstbridge High School and Eltham High School.

I have worked in real estate since 1973 and still work now and then as I have a full license. I am now 77 and semi-retired, but I have retained a keen interest in Real Estate.

I decided to work in real estate when we moved to Eltham and spoke to a real estate company who then offered me a job. Norm Baxter was my mentor and he trained me in the basics of real estate.

My very first auction was in Pryor Street in Eltham. Before it sold I was down to $50 bids. The property was owned by the Education Department.

My most memorable real estate moment was when I dressed up as a Policeman with an English Bobby hat and all and auctioned off Diamond Creek Police Station. I threatened the crowd if anyone misbehaved I would have them locked up for the night with no bail being offered.

Real estate was a lot different back in those days. The women did all the typing and took all the phone calls, but as time went by and computers and telephones came in, men had to learn how to use them. The women that usually did all the work for the men started to refuse to do all the typing for them.

I love photography, golf, table tennis, deep sea fishing
and story writing.

Finding out about OM:NI in Diamond Creek – a group of like minded men over 50 who have retired or lost direction and connection – has been a highlight. It is now almost seven years that I have going to meetings and I have seen some very great gains and friendships made here. Sadly we have lost two valued mates through sickness. They were 89 years of age but still running on 20 – active mates. In 2012 our group won the Australia Day Award for Community Service in Nillumbik and in 2018 our founding Father won a Community Award for Jagajaga which was presented by Federal Minister Jenny Macklin. In May 2011, I was awarded the Sir Kelvin award and duly Knighted Sir Daryl by the group.

My greatest influence in my life was my Mother and Father. “They taught me how to survive, to enjoy what we had, and they also taught me respect and honesty.”
Now both Mum and Dad have travelled on.

…………Now Lady Florence holds my lantern and I’m 77 and still going strong.

**** To read all other stories posted on this blog by Daryl

Ya Gotta Get In

Progression                                                                    Bruce McCorkill November 2017

Conceived, formed, born

Mystical gateway gently opening

A turmoil of forms, spilling

Onto the carpet, answering the call

Seeking the distant door


The lucky ones run

Fleet of foot, fast and sure

Dancing, bouncing, playing on the pile

Deft scampering from door to door

Positive pleasurable progression


The hopeless hapless try, intend

But get mired in the mud

The carpet can be treacherous

Sticky tentacles reaching up

To suck the unfortunate

Down into the morass

A miserable angry sodden trudge

To a mean shabby sunken exit


The middlings – a great messy mass

Strive to do their best

A confusion of aimless ants

This way, that way, diversions, tangents

Crawling and scrambling, sometimes dancing

Striving to avoid the suction of the bog

A journey to some meaning somewhere


Is there a purpose, any rhyme or reason?

Who cares, all end at the final portal

None can escape, like it or not

The snuff man is nigh, gently beckoning

Patiently waiting, waiting, waiting

So start the race, begin the journey

It’s the only one that counts

Life’s a bitch and don’t we know it

Way too short and way too hard

The bad is bad, but the good is good

You gotta get in to get out

Jenny Macklin MP honours’ Ken Ramplin

26 January 2018
Australia day awards 2018 for Jagajaga

It was a lovely summer’s day when the awards were presented in the fully renovated mud brick community hall in leafy Eltham. Hundreds of locals and dignitaries attended to witness the awards being presented on this uplifting and inspiring occasion. In recognition of the efforts and sacrifices of ordinary people for the betterment of all other needy persons in Jagajaga.

106 awards were presented to individuals and groups for their long standing efforts some for more than 30 years.

The Australian National Anthem and Waltzing Matilda were both expertly sung by Mandy Lyn Brook, her renditions were riveting.

Ken (now 78 ) had 26 invitees and family attend to celebrate the presentation of his award for establishing the OM:NI groups in Diamond Creek, Eltham, and Hurstbridge where now over 70 men attend on a fortnightly basis to make new friends, reunite with community and build their confidence again.

Ken also has built a riding group to raise funds to eliminate Prostate Cancer known as “Ken’s Pedal against Prostate”

Many photos were taken with family, friends and council reps, and Jenny Macklin MP.

At day’s end Ken went home had an hour sleep, got on his bike rode to town for a pizza and sat with Lorraine to reminisce about what a beautiful community we live in.

We all congratulate you Ken.