Under the theme of 'Friendship', stories of great warmth were shared about the rediscovery of 'A Long Lost Friend' by Carmyl, Heather, Joan and Marg. Ray chose 'A Friendship Tested', reading his father's poem, 'The Stockman's Lament', a poem which powerfully illustrates the way in which young people can test friendships using peer group pressure involving risk, danger, and in this case, death.
With two months to catch up on, a longer session with an afternoon tea of slices, biscuits and chocolates was the order of the day. During the break we celebrated Ray O'Shannessy's 90th birthday. Ray has been a member of the memoir writing group since February 2017 and has written many stories about his life since then. Happy Birthday, Ray!
The topic, 'Community', resulted in stories set in geographic communities, such as Barry's story of growing up in Wollert and Ray's record of his extensive involvement in the Benalla community. Stories about ‘communities of interest' were also shared - Marg's participation in “Tennis Playing Communities” from County Tipperary to Benalla; Carmyl's beloved cottage industry community at Tallangatta; Bev's reflections on educational communities, and Heather's story about the RAAF– “I have been in a number of places where I have developed a real sense of community, but none affected me more than my years of service with the RAAF”…
During the session we listened to a new story on Life Matters from the ABC’s current ‘500 words’ project. Writers now submit stories recorded on their smart phones! We talked about adding their new topics to our list, with the group clearly in favour of 'Precious Objects', but not so sure about 'True Confessions'! We also checked out the positive comments Marg’s story ‘Annamult’ has received on the website from people living in Ireland.
Our topic for June is 'Causes' - the brief "Tell us about a time, or times, when you have taken on a cause you were passionate or concerned about. When did this occur; why was it important to you, how did you go about addressing it - with what result?"
The alternate topic for June is 'Rebellion'- The brief, "Have you ever challenged authority, defied expectation or fought for your beliefs? (Each month we offer a popular, previously used topic as an alternative for newer members and those wishing to revisit and perhaps edit a previous story.)
On a final note, kudos to new members Graeme and Joan, who have now taken the leap, sharing engaging stories to commence their collection of 'slices of life' stories for 'As Time Goes By'.