Moreland quilt project – A changing community

The Moreland Quilt was a community arts and storytelling project curated by Tamara Russell, a textile artist specialising in free machine embroidery and hand stitching.

The panels in the quilt record local stories, culture and history though imagery, colour and fabric.

I lived on a dairy farm in Glenroy growing up.  It was a lovely place, close to the city but very rural.  My parents sold their farm land in the 1960’s and we kept the house and some of the surrounding land.  The rest of the land was subdivided into large house blocks.  In those days the roads were still gravel with no footpaths.

We had a large family I was in the middle with 2 older brothers and 2 older sisters and 3 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters. Clothes were handed down from family members or relatives and were always patched and repaired. Jumpers were hand knitted. We had one pair of boots which Dad repair over and over again.

We were always outside playing with the other local kids We had no TV and weren’t allowed in the house to play so we entertained ourselves by making things like kites and billy-carts with whatever we could find.   Lots of crashes and scratches!

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I came to Pascoe Vale a few years ago.  My son lives here and moved me here once my husband died.  We lived on a farm not far from Seymour.  I miss our home but it was too difficult to stay.  I am now making new friends here.  I get to go on some lovely outings.

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I don’t see many people anymore.   That’s the problem with getting old – everyone dies!  My son lives in Sydney with his family.  He moved me to this old people’s home when he left a couple of years ago.  I like the food but some of the people are a bit funny!  We get to do lots of things.  I have made friends here but it’s not the same as my old friends I had tough life.  I used to make all my sons clothes but when he started high school he wouldn’t wear them anymore.  He went to university and became an engineer.

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I’ve always lived in Fawkner.  It used to be more farms and big blocks but now they are tearing down the old houses and putting up two or more houses on each block.  They all look a bit like boxes to me.  They are not nearly as nice as the older houses.  Melbourne has changed so much now.  So many big tall buildings.  I don’t know about all these people coming in.  We used to know everyone about the place, now there are so many strangers.

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Moreland is a community of all ages.  Great to come along and be sociable and mix with new people.  I grew up in Moreland and I think of it as home. A great vibrant place with so much going on.  I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

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We used to know everyone in our street and were always playing in the street, cricket or riding or whatever.  There used to be a lot of tight knit communities where everyone knew each other.  Everyone was always outside shopping, playing, chatting.  No computers or videos! People were just out more.  Lots more rentals and people move house more. So many shops have changed over the years, they pull things down and then you can’t remember what was there.

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When we bought our house we had Lebanese neighbours and there were masses of them.  One of the children had 13 children so there was always lots of people visiting.  They had a different idea of privacy so when we would be in the back garden we would often find their kids on the fence watching all that we did.  They used to slaughter sheep in the back garden. There were always family gatherings going on.

We bought the house in the 1991 and it was still a pretty down and out area at the time.  We bought of Albanians who told us it is so wonderful here you will never want to leave.  I thought at the time I will sell it as soon as I can afford to and move back to Carlton.  But we as still here!  It’s a really interesting suburb.  A place where people are born, live, work and die in the same house.  That is so rare now.

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