Greetings Dear Readers,
This is a wonderful time of the year, and I feel very fortunate that I am able to tell you how I appreciate this opportunity to write a few (?) words.
I find I become very reflective during the Advent Season when the Christmas cards start landing in our post box, and we are able to forget all the busyness, and think of friends and families and times past. Don and I both have constant contact with 3rd class primary school friends, and this is now a ‘knowing and sharing’ of over seventy years of our lives. And it has passed so quickly!
This year is the 60th year of Achieve Australia, which is the blending of two organisations. The first meeting of the Sub Normal Children’s Welfare Association and Mr. C. Crowle, in 1952, led to the establishment of Crowle Home School in that year, and followed by the Mount Own Villa being established in 1964. Both organisations merged in 2009 to become Achieve Australia.
There was an Anniversary Dinner on 29th November, and at the dinner a book titled ‘60 Years Together’- The Journey of Achieve Australia, written by Linda Baraciolli,was launched. The research of the subject, the way it is presented and the actual information is very well done, and its 120 pages is indeed a remarkable written and photographic record of the development of services for over half a century for people with a disability. From very little support for parents, to all kinds of services now available, it portrays the struggle of parents over the years, the beginnings of staff education, and of course the difficulties with various Governments. This book captures the incredible dedication of parents, staff, volunteers and supporters who have made it possible for people with a disability to live happy and healthy, interesting and fulfilling lives.
This year has been a successful one for our Vintage and Value Enterprises, located at Crowle Home. However, we do have a safety problem with the area where the Bookshop and Fashion Clothing traded, and the doors had to come down on that. The goods news is that we will be holding a ‘mini market’ or trading tables on the first Sunday of the month. This will start in a very modest way on January 6th, 9am to 12 noon, and will stock books, good china, and other bargains. We have 25 pots of hydrangeas which could be flowering then, and generally the stock will be good value, and perhaps interesting to those who are waiting for someone who is having a marvellous time in the Fabric Cave or Needlecraft Emporium.
The successful year has resulted in takings which are now going to fund specific Projects, such as the Respite Appeal. To our donors, who have given us some incredible donations I would like to talk about some happenings, that would not have come about without these generous gifts. We do cherish donations, and recently we were given a piece of linen, with a traced out apron, one where you cut it out and make your apron, and then do the traced embroidery. This apron was probably printed in the 1930-32 era and the design was of Phar Lap, and his winning of the Melbourne Cup. At this moment it is just about to be entered into the racing memorabilia of a Victorian Racing collection.
Two other happenings are in connection with customers, one of ‘our’ student customers has won a scholarship to study Fashion and Design in New York. Her folio was just magic to see, and especially so as the fabrics came from our own Fabric Cave. Another customer has just told us, (as she was buying all kinds of bits and pieces) the exciting news that she has been invited to enter a design for her entry to The World of Wearable Art to be held in Wellington NZ next year. This World of Wearable Art is the most amazing show you could ever imagine. We went to one some years ago at Nelson, when a family member was able to somehow obtain tickets. Entries come from all over the world, and it is held over a ten day period. To us this was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives, to see the imagination and creativity of craftspersons. Tickets are available from 6th February, and sell out quickly. The show is on in 2013 on 26th September, til 6th October, in Wellington, and there is a website for all information on www.worldofwearableart.com
Other delights during the year have been seeing the exquisite work of one of the customers who does such tiny delightful embroideries, and this year a great needlewoman made two just stunning winter suits with fabric from the Fabric Cave. These are only some of the memories, as now I am doing more background work and do not see a lot of the magical things that people bring for us to see. And, without those donations so generously given, much would not be possible.
The Volunteers in the Vintage and Value Enterprises have worked so hard, and now have the frustration of being very short of space. They have done a grand job with the setting out of stock so things are easily found. They have enjoyed customers coming from near and far, pretty well from all States (I had a lady from WA recently who got her friend to bring her down, and her friend who lives in Ryde didn’t know we existed!) and visitors have come from NZ, England, and the US. This unique fund raising would not be possible without the Volunteers, and as a parent it is very hard to express our gratitude. We give thanks to these volunteers who have made this business thrive for the benefit of people with a disability.
We have had groups travelling from out of town to visit us, coming to have a cup of morning tea, then moving on for lunch, but some bring their lunch and stay the day. We do enjoy these visits, and hearing the news of each group. These group visits can be arranged for any time during the week.
We have a busy year to look forward to, and we will be trading as usual on Monday, 24th December, and Monday 31st December, then the usual days through January, with a date for your diary, Sunday morning, January 6th, for our first mini market.
I hope all you Dear Readers and your families have a wonderful Christmas, and may the New Year be one filled with great happiness, lots of health and joyful times.
Until next time,