One nice thing about being in Melbourne is that there are other senior missionaries with whom we associate. The six we work with at the archive celebrate birthdays and they had my work area decorated on my birthday. We brought in a yummy cheesecake and shared it at lunch.
The Dillinghams attend the Caulfield ward and have become friends with an actress who was playing the part of Fantine in Les Miserables which is playing here in Melbourne. She let them know about “rush” tickets, or tickets which have not been sold on the day of performance. So, the Dillinghams and Sis. Madden and us decided to go downtown and see if we could get them for that evening. We were able to get them for $45 each, regularly $110. The performance was wonderful and we appreciated the fact that even in live professional performances, sometimes they forget to turn the mics on when actors are speaking. While waiting in line to get our tickets, we talked to a lady standing in front of us and she recommended a Chinese place for dinner, The Golden Orchid, which was just around the corner. We decided that was fine so we walked around the corner and were so surprised to see China Town. We had one of the best Chinese dinners we have eaten. We will definitely have to have a repeat performance of that meal.
And on the other end of the “good food”scale, there is McDonald’s, but in Australia, everyone calls it Macca’s. I guess the owners decided to go along with the crowd and hung a Macca’s sign.
We are working on a huge project which is wills and probates. All four cameras are working on this and have been since last February. We found the “Rust” name in several places in Tasmania, but here was the first “Dockery” name we have found. (Kay’s maiden name.)
A P-day in the Dandenong Mt. Range found us at Grant’s picnic grounds where you can feed the birds. Last time we were here (2008) most of the birds were the colorful parrots. This time, most were the cockatoos. There is now a specific area to feed the birds. You must pay for a dish of food and go into an enclosed area. However, we found that if you stand outside the area and hold out your arms, the birds come to you anyway. You are not allowed to feed them (penalties apply) but the birds don’t seem to notice if you have food or not.
We had to stop at Miss Marples for a late lunch and thoroughly enjoyed these delicious desserts. No one went away hungry!
We came to Melbourne at the most beautiful time of year as roses are blooming everywhere. These are in front of our house, and are only some of the roses around the front and side yards.
Marvin and I decided on a day in the city, and we wanted to see where we were in 2008. We remembered we crossed the Yarra River and walked along the pedestrian area next to the river. As we exited the Flinders Train Station, there was the river. It was not the same area (we didn’t walk down that far), but we were in the general area. We walked across the “love” bridge and saw the locks which lovers had locked onto the bridge. What a nice tradition.
This week, two of the archive staff members came to our rooms to announce that the Victorian Archive Center had received the coveted community award for volunteers. This is an award which is given each year to a company who uses volunteers to give service to the community. The companies must apply for the recognition and there was stiff competition. The archive uses about 150 volunteers, but we were told that about 90% of the service has come from our 3 rooms where we are digitizing records. As a group, we are digitizing an average of 40,000 records each week.
We are happy to be here and are glad to provide that service to the good people of Australia.