Having lived in Glenorie for thirty-four years I would like to consider myself to be “one of the locals” but in reality, if you don’t have a street or park named after you I’m afraid you fall short of the mark. That being said, I feel very much a part of this beautiful little community and all the things that appealed to us all those years ago are largely still evident today.
When we first started house-hunting, in 1986, our main consideration was affordability (we’d blown a considerable part of our house deposit on a four-month trip around Europe and Scandinavia the previous year…no regrets…YOLO!). My husband and I had both grown up in the Central West of NSW so a friend suggested that we might find something to our liking in Galston. When nothing really appealed to us there, the real estate agent suggested Glenorie… “only five minutes further out”…and to prove it we were almost airborne as he drove us from Galston to Glenorie!
Here, in Tecoma Drive, we found our house and made it a home for ourselves our three daughters over the next thirty-odd years. Initially, before having a family, we only slept here. We knew our neighbours, the beautiful Bob and Moira Gates (who had retired from their property on Wylds Rd), and Bob and Sue Griggs who had downsized from their acreage in Dural, but as a working couple we had little time to become involved in community activities. However, we did enjoy the annual Art Exhibition that was held in the Scout Hall at the end of our street (Taupo Rd off Tecoma Drive) all those years ago.
Children change everything! I joined a local playgroup that met weekly in the Glenorie Memorial Hall; then the Pre-school Committee consumed my time for seven years, followed by a long stint on both the Glenorie Public School Ladies Auxiliary and the P&C Association. These were all wonderful opportunities to meet other parents, children and community members. I have fond memories of Country Fairs and school fundraisers. I am yet to forgive Pat Schwartz (actually, I do…we still laugh about it!) for selling to me a beautifully-produced copy of a Christmas book at my first Country Fair. She had a stack of them…50c each…hard to resist. However, when I got the book home, ready to share with the girls, I discovered that the first page was missing! Ever the optimist, I told the girls that we had to create a rhyme for the first page before we could start the story! That Christmas tradition continued for many years! Local people gave very generously of their time and energy for pre-school and school endeavours. The school Ladies Auxiliary organised craft days to make a variety of things for the Country Fair stall and local produce was donated.
I remember organising a petition for Hornsby Council to install footpaths along Tecoma Drive as it worried me that so many families were walking on the street. In the days of “pumpout”, many families drained “grey” water from their laundry into the gutters and the street verge was often soggy, forcing people to walk and push prams on the street. The response to the petition from Council was “that it wasn’t part of their five-year plan”. Apparently, it wasn’t part of their twenty-five year plan either. I’m still waiting!
Mr Whippy was also a welcome visitor to Tecoma Drive on many weekends through the Summer. Initially, my husband told the girls that when the music played, Mr Whippy was all out of ice-cream. That deception didn’t last for long…my husband loves ice-cream too much! Another tradition we all love and support is the Christmas Eve Rural Fire Service procession through the village. Hopefully this year it will herald the end of what has been a truly terrible year.
Time has moved slowly in Glenorie but we always knew that one day the outside world would find our little patch of heaven. Upgrades to the sewage system were very welcome. With Woolworths, change crept into our community. The remodelling of the shopping centre has added another dimension to our village and the Bakery has attracted a multitude of visitors. Having a Grower’s Market once a month has been a lovely addition to local activities. In Tecoma Drive, the trend towards “knockdownrebuild” is evident as the block sizes can accommodate duplexes or double dwellings. Last year, the house next door to us received Council approval for a Child Care Centre. Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” will one day take on a whole new context for us!
We have been blessed to live in this street. We’ve always had lovely neighbours, an abundance of wildlife (birds, lizards, the occasional echidna wandering past our driveway and the odd python in the fork of a tree!) and easy access to local amenities. Spring is always a beautiful time in Glenorie; the scent of jasmine and lavender hangs in the air and native blooms are prolific. It’s a good life in our street!!
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