On Wednesday, 24th August, Leonard and Shraddha met for breakfast at Sugarbeat cafe close to their homes, and what followed was an interesting & insightful walk down a memory lane of Len's life which was lived on the philosophy of hard work, friendship and care for his family, friends and community.
 
Len was born 11 April 1933 in a small town in Victoria called Murtoa.  We moved when I was still young to Linga, situated between Ouyen and the South Australian border in the Sunraysia region.  There I went to Linga state school. My father was a Bank Manager, and my mother managed the Post Office until we moved to Melbourne in 1940, after my fathers' passing in 1937.
 
Len still remembers the 14 room house they had when his mother managed the Post Office in Linga, it brings back very fond memories of the place. It was getting difficult for my mother alone with two kids, so along with aunty Flo, her daughter Bev, mum, uncle Alan and I moved to Melbourne.
We lived initially in Fitzroy and eventually mum found work to manage a tennis court and milk bar in Union road. Alan & I joined Ascot Vale West Primary school.     
 
I was introduced to Rotary by another of my school mate Ron King in 1991.  He was the President at North Melbourne Rotary and we used to go to their Rotary dinners. Over one such dinner he introduced me to the president Ross Bradfield of Rotary Club of Flemington & soon after I joined.
In those days, Myers had a factory along the Maribyrnong River, so when I turned 15, I joined the upholstering and bedding section there.  After I completed my Merit Certificate, the skill in upholstering saw me move to TAA for fitting-in airplane seats. I did that for some time then moved to buy a taxi truck, I was about 22 then, & it was around that time that I met my lovely Audrey. The truck only had one seat in the front and she would have to sit in a pinata box. We married in 1956, it was the first Saturday of the Olympic games here in Melbourne.As driving hours were not compatible to my married life, I joined Hunter products in manufacturing support.  Alan Hunter (with whom I'd gone to school) proved to be a great friend and support over the years. My career progressed to being the top salesmen to managing the whole production. We also moved to Queensland for 8 years. We eventually came back to Melbourne, and I continued working with Alan and Jo Ferrrara.
 
I have very much enjoyed and cherished my friendships:  the most with Alan Bruno, Geoff Cawsey, John Sklenar and so many more. The way we joined to host BBQ's every month, it gave me a sense of purpose in something bigger than us.
 
During PDG Vance Hilton's Presidency we hosted the District Conference at Canberra, I think the memory of that event is very fresh in my mind. It was known to be one of the best run events of the time.
 
In terms of travelling, Audrey and I travelled a fair bit around Europe, but my most revered one is the 15-day Rhine river cruise we took. 
 
I think the joy of people coming together in the local community where you knew each other and were supportive is harder to see now a days in physical form, they say people meet online, I don't understand how they feel connected in this space.
 
My favorite way to spend time these days is reading the newspaper in the morning, catching up with friends for lunch and when I can, I like to still be helpful in Rotary and business contacts.
 
Sport and hobbies: Len laughs!  Oh it has been a long time.  I used to play football at Ascot Vale, and we played with Hastings too.   I don’t play a musical instrument, but Audrey loved dancing so I would join her.
 
If you could make one major change in society it would be …. I would want people to be more tolerant of each other’s disagreements. People can have their say, agree to disagree and still be friends and respectful of each other’s choices.
 
Interesting fact about Murtoa:  Prior to 1870 the town was known as Marma Gully. It is generally accepted that Murtoa means 'home of the lizard' in the language of the local First Nations people, probably the Jaadwa language group. There are a number of large lizard mosaic sculptures on the median strips in Marma and Duncan streets.
 
 
 
 
Interesting fact about Linga:  'The name Linga is believed to be an invented derivative from the traditional Aboriginal name Lar-gni which meant camp of ... because as a place to camp it was a place to linger.'
Source: wikipedia
 
 


 
Guess who is coming to dinner.  Who would your dinner guests be?  It'd be you (to Shradd) and my nieces Leonie Dekker and Joanne Murray
I've had dinner catered at my place and had had few neighbors along, I think you'd all love to meeting each other.
 
What three things have you discovered that are most important in life?   Kindness, understanding and fairness. 
 
And the last word    Thank you to all that I have crossed paths with.