Howdy Folks Lets Celebrate Living History!
Words By Bev Wilkinson
Celebrate Living History of Frankston is an exhibition made from the heart, I am not a student, I am not an artist, I am a Communications Graduate who never had the opportunity to shine.
I had a dream one day the door to opportunity would open, I realised if I wanted to make this a reality then I would have to kick it down myself.
Its funny one photo of my Grandmother as a happy-go-lucky teenager is what made me think of the original concept of scanning photos to DVD and CD business.
It was never my intention to make Celebrate Living History into what you see today, until I conducted my first interview with Dorothy Dempster what she told me was never recorded in books but yet it was beautiful to hear her stories on what it was like growing up in this sleepy little town in the 1950s.
Something triggered inside me and I knew I was on to something….I started doing speaking gigs at community groups to gather more senior star recruits.
The very first group I crashed was Frankston National Seniors when they saw me I was asked with a confused expression “Are you here to join us?” I told a very amused senior I wanted to speak about the exhibition and I was placed in the just before the tea break time slot!
This time slot became a regular gig for the next seven months and these seniors soon became my friends, I don’t see age just a person who has many yarns to share.
I remember one of my interviews was with Sylvia Meehl who is related to Frank Richard Wells one of the pioneers of Frankston.
Sylvia started talking about Mr Wells and I stopped her and said, “That’s really great but I want to hear about you.” Sylvia stopped shocked I was interested in her life.
I believe what I am doing nurtures relationships between youth and seniors to celebrate stories about history, culture and community. My new dream is to embark on a social enterprise not-for-profit so I can establish a nation- wide student internship program, which will cherish these relationships.
Sometimes we forget “senior stars” really do need to be celebrated.
I hope this exhibition inspires you to think outside the square and believe dreams can really come true.
The Folks at National Seniors Frankston