Our August topic ‘On the Job’ –evoked lots of memories, including Bev’s memories of teaching English to a class of young lawyers during a politically turbulent period in pre-democracy Madrid; Elizabeth’s memories of being at work in Ireland ‘waiting with baited breath’ during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962; Noelle’s descriptions of post retirement adventures as a tour guide; Helen’s memories of working in her mother’s milk bar and of still occasionally being recognized and asked ‘Aren’t you Mrs Duggin’s daughter?’
Stories shared in September on ‘How we met’ featured Neville’s evocative story of his experience of being with Jenny at the birth of their three sons and so meeting each of them for the first time. Neville also engaged us with stories of how he met Lionel Rose and Chips Rafferty! Noelle shared the story of finally meeting ‘Miss D. Lite’, long a mysterious name on a mailing list; Bev her first meeting four years ago with her 87 year old half sister Lenore. Joy described getting to know neighbours who became friends and then a street community; David his ‘farming forged friendship’ with a now lifetime friend who he will be meeting up with on Grand Final Eve this Friday for a ‘not too boozy’ restaurant meal in Melbourne; Betty meeting her treasured tennis playing male friend and confidante; and Jenny the dawning realisation, in the strangest place and oddest situation, that she had rediscovered a ‘preps grade’ friend, Josephine Sarah, more than fifty if not sixty decades later.
We have two topics for October. The first follows our tradition of writing a story or poem on the topic set for the Benalla Writing Competition, with some members submitting their work to the competition. The theme for this years Festival, ‘Our Backyard – a celebration of special places and spaces’, is the focus of the writing competition. Our other October topic is ‘Personal Challenge’ The brief - ‘Often the most rewarding challenges are the ones we set ourselves. Share a story about stepping outside your comfort zone in the name of self-improvement.’