Monday, 17 November 2014


That’s the little guy in the photo. He has a story - as all little guys and girls do. Provided they are fortunate to grow into adults, they have seen a lot including a lots of changes. That photo was taken in about 1964 in a suburb of Melbourne called Chadstone. Somewhat surprisingly for those who have ever been there (not the shopping centre, the little piece of suburb around it) this suburb could possibly rate highly in a range of competitions:

·        The most non-descript suburb in Melbourne - Chadstone

·        The suburb with a shopping centre taking up the highest percentage of square metres of its total land area - Chadstone

·        The suburb known for nothing but its shopping centre - Chadstone

·        The only suburb in Australia where its shopping centre's expanding car park took over a Catholic teaching college - Chadstone

·        The suburb newer residents with an eye on property value like to call Malvern East, or perhaps Malvern East East - Chadstone

·        Where mother's stopped their kids from playing down near the creek as it had become too dangerous on account of the creek being turned into a freeway - Chadstone

·        Where one mother measured the arrival of her third and final child, a son, (said 3 year old) by the fact that he arrived either just before or just after the completion of the shopping centre - Chadstone

·        The suburb given the name 'Chaddy Beach' for an end of year student party because a student from Campbellfield asked if Chadstone had a beach - so for that one night it did - Chadstone
Yet when the parents of the little guy in the photo settled there back in the late 1950's it was not considered a suburb - it was the Back of Bourke. They had moved from South Yarra and their friends were stunned to learn they had bought a block of land so far away.

In order to allow builders onto the block to start building the house, the little guy's parents spent weekends chopping into the gorse (sort of prickle bushes). Back then the creek at the bottom of the unpaved road was a creek. Freeways were modern objects of awe on black and white television from America. Creeks were safe here!

There were so few houses in the vicinity when those parents moved in that it was possible to get lost. And one of them did. That's a story that involves thick fog, a dog, an outdoor dunny and darkness.


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