Hooray! Celebrate Living History is heading in the right direction!

The lure of being inspired by business owners that have done it tough is what lured me to two conferences over the week.

Even though Celebrate Living History is now on track to becoming a not-for-profit its always good to be surrounded by those that have done it before.

While I have support of my friends, my family think I’m nuts and should pursue a proper job with a boss that will pay me.

They just see me working hard and don’t realise why I bother, but the reason why is in my heart I know this is the job I was meant to do.

I think I had an amazing opportunity in the past year as I have trodden in footsteps other people my age don’t have time to do, not many would consider seniors to be some of their best friends.

Some of the advice that resonated with me was “Fail Fast and when you do find out what went wrong” while I don’t consider what I have done as a massive failure, it was a great achievement but now I know I can’t do it all on my own if I continue I’ll go broke and kind of bonkers!

Most say I’m brave for doing this all solo, but I don’t think I am, I know there is a big picture and when I finally find my rainbow I’ll be the happiest girl in the world with my mascot Bunny by my side!

Its funny I spent all this time looking for the perfect board and they were under my nose all the time.

These are the people I share stories with in the park and they are the most intelligent insightful people I know, I only had to turn off the blinkers to see what I really had.


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Come on Folks lets Celebrate Living History!

Come on Folks lets Celebrate Living History!.

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I fell in love with this poem that I just had to share it with everyone!

Just reading Ita Buttrose’s book A Passionate Life and she included this very poignant poem, written by Canon Henry Scott-Holland 1847-1918

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away to the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are

Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way, which you always used
Put no difference into your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effect
Without the trace of a shadow on it

Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same that it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
What should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval
Somewhere, Very Near.
Just around the corner all is well

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Happy New Years Folks! I love this report it shows how my blog has been viewed around the world!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas enjoy a peek behind the making of Celebrate Living History of Frankston!

The behind the scenes look at the making of Celebrate Living History of Frankston. Involves cupcakes, senior stars and a whole lot of passion!

I hope to one day go on tour with Celebrate Living History of Frankston to spread the word of positive aging and generate relationships with universities nation-wide to create a internship program which will nurture relationships between seniors and youth to celebrate stories about history, culture and community.

Its a big dream but i’ve shown what can be achieved without funding, imagine what I can do with funding!

Merry Christmas folks!

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Hey there future! Are you waiting for me?

The lure of networking with people in the know is what inspired me to volunteer at the Global Shifts Social Enterprise Conference.

Even though I have a clue about what direction Celebrate Living History is heading, it’s hard to separate all the information to make a viable future.

 Sometimes it’s difficult to work solo on a project, especially if there are no tangible indicators to show what type of job your doing.

 I know I have potential members of the board, I can contact but the barrier is there my good mates and they just want to help me out.

 What I really need are people who are passionate about what I do rather than who I am. Also those who can compliment my skills and help out in the areas that I’m not good at!

 Even though I’ve been working at becoming a not-for-profit social enterprise for months, there are always barriers I’m eager to get going but in reality I’m not going anywhere.

 I realised while listening to the speakers at the conference the one key phrase repeated was “Ask for help” it makes sense I could wallow trying or I could use my existing contacts to make a difference!

 My mind started ticking I have done the hard yards and already established contacts within community groups, media, seniors and universities

 It was like a bomb went off my eyes lit up and suddenly the idea of working with the U3A to apply for grants took hold.

 Finally there is a path that seems doable rather than exploring legalities that I’m not good at, its hard to become a not-for-profit social enterprise if you have no clue what your doing or even a proper board that will support you!

 While I was surrounded by inspirational speakers one that stood out included Chris Raine who I had met earlier in my journalism student days.

 Back then he was working for Fresh an agency in Brisbane, I didn’t come to see him but to interview Adam Penburthy the owner.

 Who would have known the path he was going to take would inspire me to keep chugging along.

 Its funny Chris mentioned he gave up his full time job to pursue his passion and went on to become a winner of the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme Best New Business Award.

 Even though his idea Hello Sunday Morning is a social enterprise it still had a lot of standing and beat so many other entrepreneurs.

His path inspires me as I am also on the NEIS scheme and even though I feel like I’m failing, I’m not really it’s just a matter of time before the future brightens.

 The story of STREET founder Rebecca Scott is also very motivating she was talking about how she had many dark days before STREET started to become viable.

 Especially during the first two years where her own funds were ultilised to get STREET up and running.

 Listening to Rebecca made me feel so much better about Celebrate Living History especially during the first few months I have poured so much money, time and effort into laying a solid foundation.

 So far I have not made a profit but I do see the potential and have loved spreading the word of positive aging, chatting to seniors and in particular being a mentor to university students.

 I hope one day there is a viable future for what I do and I can really nurture relationships between seniors and youth to celebrate stories about history, culture and community.

 There is a future I just got to find my glasses because I have a feeling it’s going to be bright!







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I met Bruce at the Celebrate Living History of Frankston exhibition and just had to interview him!

© Copyright Bev Wilkinson Celebrate Living History

Bruce Petrie is from a long line of Frankston relatives who have thrived in the area for over 100 years.
Born in Frankston on 11 January 1932 Bruce grew to have the entrepreneur spark like his father.

His family owned so much land that most of the streets in Frankston was named after the Petrie family.

“I’ve lived here for 80 years and have spent all my life here, the original grant was Dandenong Road, my father was born in Hastings his father ran the general store opposite the pier, then they shifted up to Frankston,” he says

“My father had the grocery job on the corner of Station Street and Young Street he owned all Balmoral, across to Rossmith Avenue.”

Bruce remembers fondly when the circus visited Frankston just outside his home in Balmoral Street.

“We had a circus come in one year they came in by steam train all the trucks had cages with the lions they would take them by tractor to the circus side,” he says.

“We just had to look out the front door and see the circus.”

During the summer Bruce enjoyed jumping on the boat and fishing in the creek.

“It is all ruined now by the dredging and the McCombs netted it back in the 50s, every year they had to go further out the fish have never returned like they used to be then, there used to be massive Snapper,” he says.

Growing up in the war the Petrie family managed well with their own vegetables, cow and chooks on the property.

“In Frankston it was pretty good during the war, there was petrol rationing we used to get a couple of galloons to go fishing,” he says

“During the war the Americans came back from the islands and went to Balcombe Army Camp my mother and father made friends with a couple of the yanks they used to come to my place and invite me to Balcombe Camp during the war,” he says

“We would have steak, rock melons and ice creams. We could not get any of that during the war, they gave me a few souvenirs, which you weren’t allowed rifles and things.”

Bruce grins when he chats about the reasons why he was a fireman for 37 years.

“It’s been in my blood my father was captain of the Frankston fire brigade in about 1905 he was a honors member. It was quite a nice family group everybody was in the fire brigade in those days,” he says

“We knew all the children of everybody who was there,”

“When I was 18 I wanted to join the fire brigade in the city and I stayed there for 37 years,”

Bruce says his favorite time, as a fireman was when he visited the Children’s Hospital in Mt Eliza during Christmas.

“Just the friendship of the Frankston Fire Brigade I was a member up and until 56 when the Country Fire Authority wanted to put permanent members at Frankston, “ he says.

Bruce says being a firefighter was hard especially when they had to enter burning buildings and tip fires.

“They would push you in all the time they didn’t give you any breathing apparatus, used to go to a lot of tip fires in Cheltenham, the old aged home in Keys Road and Warrigal Road so you would breath all this plastic from Nylex,” he says

“Just never knew what you were going to get into.”

If Bruce could give advice to his younger self it would be to invest more in stocks rather than property.

“We always had trouble with tenants, if you need money on the stock exchange you can sell your shares tomorrow,” he says.

“I’ve got six acres in Langwarrin and its zoned to be a tip, I’ve had it for forty odd years paid just over 30 thousand and I can’t sell the land its worth over 1- million.”

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