Surprise book of the month

New York Pigeon. Behind the feathers. By Andrew Garn

In our urban landscape, pigeons are scorned as feral, dirty pests. Dedicated pigeon fancier, author and photographer Andrew Garn sets out to destroy this misconception, presenting the noble pigeon as beautiful, intelligent and a friend to the human race. The population of pigeons in New York City exceeds one million. These are their stories…

New York Pigeon 2

This book is something different. Amazing and comprehensive, it is full of superb photographs which highlight the beauty of these birds, the luminosity of their feathers, jewel toned eyes and their majesty in flight.

In the first section of his book Andrew Garn examines the history behind the pigeon and how they have been an integral and valued part of human society – a bird whose remains have been discovered in archaeological digs dating back to the Ancient Egyptian and middle eastern civilisations “It might be surprising that a plump, multi-hued bird that wanders our sidewalks, perches on our buildings, and flutters all about, could have the bloodlines of a dinosaur, and be a gourmet food. Also used in religious sacrifices, this bird has been both a war hero and the focus of Charles Darwin’s experiments on natural selection.” (Page 17, Garn, Andrew, The New York Pigeon. Behind the feathers, 2018).

We have heard stories of homing pigeons carrying coded messages during World War II. But did you know, that using positive reinforcement, pigeons were trained to guide US Navy missiles with an accuracy surpassing human ability? Or that they also have much better sight than us. A pigeon can see five colour spectrums from infrared to ultraviolet.
Garn examines the physiology of the pigeon (Columba livia domestica) to explain how these birds are perfectly efficient flying machines with sustained speeds of around 50mph. They can outperform any other bird in aerial acrobatics and survive in a variety of environments. He also explains how pigeons hatch and grow.

3-pigeon_baby-walks_garn

Baby pigeon takes its first steps.  Image by Andrew Garn

Pigeons flying

In flight.  Image by Andrew Garn

The second section of this book features stories about birds who have been rescued and rehabilitated at the Wild Bird Fund in New York. It is easy to tell how much the author values pigeons, from his stunning portraiture that captures their individual expressions perfectly, to the accompanying captions which relate each bird’s name and courageous journey. Garn’s striking work is reminiscent of a photoshoot in a fashion magazine.

Humans are not left out. Garn volunteers at the shelter. He relates his experiences treating birds and the dangers that they face living among us. You will feel empathy for these creatures. “They are struck by cars and bicycles, attacked by our dogs and cats, removed from the nest when the air conditioner is cleaned, entangled in our litter, sickened by toxins, particularly lead, which we put in the environment, and suffer abuse at our hands,” Rita McMahon, executive director of the Wild Bird Fund. (Page 143, Garn, Andrew, The New York Pigeon. Behind the Feathers 2018).

Pigeon 3

Brooklyn. Image by Andrew Garn

 

Marilyn

Marilyn.  Image by Andrew Garn

pigeons

Apollo. Image by Andrew Garn

Elmer

Elmer.  Image by Andrew Garn

We also read about the dedicated staff and other volunteers who care for the sick or injured pigeons and other city birds. And there are also New Yorkers who keep pigeons as pets, with coops in the city neighbourhoods, even raising them in apartments.
Lastly the book features a series of photographs which centres on the daily lives of pigeons set against the backdrop of the buildings and skyline of New York City.

pigeons

Image by Andrew Garn

You can reserve The New York Pigeon. Behind the Feathers online. Or enquire next time you visit the Library.

Way back when, Wednesdays

The stressless classroom for seniors

Albert Einstein once remarked that “Once you stop learning, you start dying” (http://www.basicknowledge101.com/subjects/educationquotes.html). There is also the proverb that you are never too old to learn. On page 10 of the edition dated Wednesday 18 February 1987, the Leader Messenger reported on the new Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age, where retired people could participate in a variety of courses for learning and recreation and share their knowledge and experience with others.

U3A

The Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A) was established in 1987. 31 years later it is still thriving, with members meeting at 22 Golden Grove Road, Modbury North.

We speak of the Third Age as a time of active retirement. It follows the first age of childhood and formal education and the second age of working life. The Third Age precedes the fourth age of dependence (https://www.u3a.org.au/u3a_movement). The University of the Third Age is an international non-profit organisation which advocates that we should have access to life-long learning opportunities and the pursuit of knowledge, in a supportive environment where mutual learning and teaching flourish. So what feels like the end for retirees is often the beginning (https://www.goodmorningquote.com)

The British U3A embraced the philosophy on which the medieval university was founded: A fellowship of equals who met to share and extend knowledge. The British U3A embraces the principles of self-help and self-determination. Acknowledging that older people have accumulated a lifetime of knowledge and experience, members of each branch develop and structures their own programs, based on the strength and interests of their learning community.  Group members plan and develop a syllabus for each course that the offer and those with specialist experience teach on a voluntary basis. Other members assist in the administration of U3A. Each group is autonomous and manages itself.

Logo U3A 2

University of the Third Age logo

The Australian U3A is based on the British model. In 1984 the first Australian U3A opened in Melbourne. Universities of the Third Age in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Western Australia have established intrastate networks to support the different branches in each state with a range of resources (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_the_Third_Age).

If you would like more information about the Tea Tree Gully University of the Third Age log on to the website at: http://users.tpg.com.au/u3attg/index.html

TTG University Third Age

The Tea Tree Gully branch of the University of the Third Age situated at 22 Golden Grove Road, Modbury North.

Members pay a membership fee when they enroll in their first course. They can experience the joy of learning for learning’s sake as there are no examinations or certificates to be obtained. No educational qualifications are required. Courses are designed to offer participants a range of educational, creative and leisure activities, with opportunities to socialise and enjoy yourself!

Now there is even a virtual branch of the University of the Third Age at https://www.u3aonline.org.au/  U3A Online is the world-first virtual University of the Third Age to deliver online learning via the Internet. U3A Online is especially suited to older people who may be geographically, physically or socially isolated. The website also provides links for older people to access useful information about different topics, such as news, maintaining good health and staying safe online.  You can also find your local branch of the U3A.

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Way back when, Wednesdays

South Australia’s local royalty

Would you like to be crowned Miss Home Laundry? Is this ultimate glorification of the mid-century domestic goddess or is it a sad reflection on the role of housewives in this era? It’s neither! On the cover of the edition dated 14 July 1971 The North-East Leader, a Messenger Newspaper recognised pretty Elizabeth Chapman’s impressive fundraising efforts. Representing Radio Rentals store at Tea Tree Plaza, her work assisted charities in South Australia, through a partnership between the appliance retailer and Telethon SA.

Miss Home Laundry

It appears that the title of Charity Queen, Miss Home Laundry was related to a sales promotion (probably for white goods), given the nature of Radio Rentals’ business.
Telethon SA is a non-profit organisation that endorses and supports ethical fundraising and it has been a leading sponsor of South Australian charities since 1960. Through support provided by South Australian businesses, Telethon assists charities with advertising and promotion and offers them opportunities to participate in various fully managed fundraising projects and events (https://www.telethon.com.au).

Telethon-SA-logo

During the 1960s and 1970s Telethon SA was renowned for holding fundraising appeals which were televised from the studios of NWS Channel Nine (hence the name Telethon). These annual appeal shows lasted several hours and they featured celebrities and television personalities. These entertainers performed for free and they asked viewers to donate money, by telephoning a number which appeared on the screen. The Telethon Appeal also showed people how their donations had helped others in the community.

1975 Telethon SA appeal 1975 Dean Davis, Humphrey Bear and Helen Woods

1975 Telethon SA Appeal with Helen Woods, Humphrey Bear and Dean Davis.  Photo:  http://www.adelaidenow.com.au

Telethon SA ran the high profile beauty pageant, the Miss Telethon Quest. In the newspaper photo above, Miss Sue Dolman, who was named Miss Telethon in 1971, has presented Elizabeth Chapman with her winner’s sash. The Miss Telethon Quest was not just about looks. The young women who entered would compete to raise funds. The entrant who raised the most money would be crowned as a charity queen; she did not have to win the overall competition. The winner of Miss Telethon would be expected to be a dedicated and hardworking ambassador for her organisation. Winning Miss Telethon could lead to other opportunities, such as in the entertainment industry or in public relations. Telethon also conducted charity auctions and the House of Hope competition.

Nowadays you probably would have heard of Telethon SA in relation to the annual Home & Land Lottery. Telethon SA describe the Lottery as the cornerstone of its fundraising activities as it has raised more than $28 million for SA charities since its inception in 1977 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-30/telethon-sa-rescued-after-closure-fears/8401562).

Humphrey Bear and builders at the 1984 Fairmont Pacific Telethon House in Redwood Park

Humphrey Bear and the builders at the 1984 Fairmont Pacific Telethon house in Redward Park. Photo:  http://www.adelaidenow.com.au

In February 2017 Telethon SA announced that it may have to close as it could no longer afford to hold the Home & Land Lottery in the current economic climate. The Lottery relied on the donation of a new house and land package by the residential building industry. The State Government land agency Renewal SA had withdrawn its offer of vacant land. So Telethon SA would have been forced to pay for an allotment.

Fortunately for the charities of South Australia, Renewal SA reversed its decision and made the commitment to donate a block of land for the Home & Land Lottery for a period of three years. Rivergum Homes also pledged its support of a house on the land for each of those three years, in conjunction with its South Australian residential building partners. The board of Telethon SA accepted the offers of free houses and land. The Telethon SA Rivergum Home and Land Lottery 2017 raised $1,027,290. Telethon SA continues its good work for our state.

(http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-30/telethon-sa-rescued-after-closure-fears/8401562)

(https://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/telethon-sa-saved-from-closure-after-surge-of-public-support/news-story/9c56f055175e1f0b4c869cc3ab8c5e3a)

Home and Land lottery

Advertisement for the The Telethon SA Rivergum Home and Land Lottery in 2017 Photo:  www.grow.org.au

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Way back when, Wednesdays

The gangster of groceries

At one time, almost everybody could say that they had a local Tom the Cheap grocer. On page 7 of the edition dated 11 January, 1967 the North East Leader a Messenger Newspaper reported on grocery specials on sale at the Modbury Tom the Cheap store on the corner of Grand Junction and North East Roads (now the site of Barnacle Bills and IGA).

 

Tom the Cheap advertisement 1967

Note the late opening of Tom the Cheap, Modbury on Friday until 9pm! Usually only delicatessans were open in the evenings in Adelaide during the 1960s. Adelaide had sporadic late night trading before WWII on Fridays (even on Saturdays in the 1920s). Late night shopping was stopped during war time. Trading commenced on Thursday nights in suburban shops and Friday nights in the City in 1977.

 

There really was a ‘Tom’. Thomas Wardle opened his first discount grocery store in North Perth in the 1950s. At this time, Australians mainly shopped at grocery stores which offered over the counter service. There were some ‘Cash and Carry’ stores which relied on self-service but supermarkets were a novelty. On a trip to Sweden with his wife, Wardle was influenced by the European model of shopping where customers could walk down aisles, choosing their purchases (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wardle).

During the 1950s, it was common practice for manufacturers to fix a resale price for their goods. Retailers then resold the goods to consumers for a healthy profit margin. Today, the Competition and Consumer Act (which replaced the Trade Practices Act of 1974) forbids resale price maintenance. Tom Wardle’s main selling point was that he claimed to only mark up his stock by ten percent, whereas the other supermarket retailers usually charged twenty five to thirty percent when goods were not ‘on special’. Tom the Cheap did not sell products below cost but naturally customers loved the discounts.

In a conservative era, manufacturers and wholesalers were outraged by Wardle’s approach and some refused to supply him with goods. So Wardle took to importing merchandise directly and he established relationships with suppliers interstate to make his purchases. Tom the Cheap became a highly profitable business enterprise in WA and by 1959 fifteen stores were in operation. In 1962 Tom Wardle expanded his chain of stores into South Australia. He eventually established more than 200 stores in four states.

 

Tom-the-Cheap sign

 It was easy to spot a Tom the Cheap supermarket when you saw this road sign.  Photo:  https://australianfoodtimeline.com.au/tom-the-cheap/

 

Tom Wardle cleverly exploited his notoriety with suppliers and other retailers. Australians love a rebel. Wardle advertised his Tom character as a convict in prison garb, ‘the bad boy’ of grocery shopping who was “Australia’s greatest price-cutter”. Wardle also courted publicity. He openly criticised his competitors, accusing them of greed and fleecing the public. It is reported that when Wardle opened one of his stores he employed the services of marching girls, a jazz band, and a belly dancer. Prominent footballers and a radio announcer also made an appearance.
(https://australianfoodtimeline.com.au/tom-the-cheap/)

Australia's greatest price cutter

Tom Wardle was probably guilty of some crookery, as he is reputed to have paid low wages to his mainly female staff. His ‘no frills’ approach to shopping was not limited to pricing. Wardle used cheap advertising and he bought up or rented run down, disused buildings (such as this old theatre on  Anzac Highway at Goodwood pictured below) to set up shop, as they were cheap to fit out (https://australianfoodtimeline.com.au/tom-the-cheap/).

 

 

It should be acknowledged that while Tom Wardle became incredibly wealthy, he was also a philanthropist who made sizeable donations to schools, hospitals, sporting bodies, womens’ organisations and the Arts. Tom Wardle even bought his own island (where he later retired) when the West Australian Government sold Dirk Hartog Island in 1968, which is situated near Shark Bay. Tom Wardle was elected Mayor of Perth in 1967. During his life, he was aslo honoured with many important appointments in the service of the public (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wardle).

 

Supertom.jpg

Supertom, , The Leader Messenger, page 28, 6 January 1982

 

In the 1980s the character of Tom briefly reinvented himself as a superhero who fought against high grocery prices. These advertisements were probably influenced by the popularity of the Superman movie series, starring Christopher Reeve. ‘Supertom’, the caped crusader appeared on television commercials accompanied by a robotic companion, which resembled a round vacuum cleaner with metallic arms. If you can remember the name of Tom’s sidekick, or would like to share your memories of Tom the Cheap, please let us know!

Tom Wardle had been interested in investing in property development since the 1960s. In 1972 he purchased a majority share in Westhaven Securities Limited, a property investment company. Unfortunately in 1977 the company defaulted on a substantial loan used to finance property purchases which triggered the collapse of The Tom the Cheap family companies. The supermarkets went into receivership in mid-1978 and they were forced to close (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Wardle). Tom Wardle died in 1997.
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Suit up Seventies style

Cord suit

At first glance you might think that the clever lady in the photograph has recycled some bathmats and sewn herself a tailored outfit. This is certainly not the case. In the edition dated 14 July 1971, the North East Leader tells us that Mrs June Cooper is in fact, modelling a stylish suit made from jumbo cord. This photograph on page 19 was taken to promote the Witchery Boutique at Tea Tree Plaza. According to the North East Leader, it was a modish outfit that women would have wanted to wear in the early 1970s.

Corduroy fabric has been used in the manufacture of workwear since the 18th century in Britain and Europe. During the 20th century, factories in many other countries started produced clothing made from corduroy, often for the working classes. In the 1970s garments made from corduroy became incredibly popular. They were easy to launder, soft and warm in winter and affordable. Corduroy garments could also be dressed up or down. Both men and women could wear a corduroy suit to the office or wear the jacket or pants separately on weekends.

Corduroy jeans, jackets and skirts are still worn today. In the cooler weather, corduroy always seems to be a popular choice for jeans.

 

corduroy-fall-2017-2

Corduroy on the catwalk in 2017.  Image:  http://corduroy.in/corduroy-news/

 

If you are not familiar with corduroy, it is a durable cotton or cotton blend cloth, which is basically a ridged form of velvet. Corduroy comes in a multitude of colours and it can be plain or printed. Multiple cords are woven into the base fabric to form ridges or wales, which lie parallel to each other in clear lines. Sometimes you can see channels where the bare fabric between the cords is visible. Corduroy fabric with a standard or wide wale (jumbo cord) is used to upholster furniture, such as sofas, or it is made into trousers. Fabric with medium (midwale) narrow, and fine wale (such as pinwale or pincord) is used in the manufacture in garments worn above the waist. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corduroy (http://www.fashionencyclopedia.com/fashion_costume_culture/Modern-World-Part-II-1961-1979/Corduroy.html).

 

Corduroy Fabric

Different wales of corduroy.  Image:  http://market-research-explore-report.blogspot.com/2018/02/world-corduroy-fabric-market-2018.html

 

The 1970s was revolutionary for women as it was the first time in history in which it was acceptable for women to wear what they wanted. Asian women had worn pants under tunics for many years. Now western women seemed to prefer wearing pants to dresses and skirts (https://www.retrowaste.com/1970s/fashion-in-the-1970s/1970s-fashion-for-women-girls/). Women wore pantsuits to the city, and some could wear them to the office. A trendy or elegant pantsuit was just the thing to wear out to dinner. As the 1970s progressed, pants for both men and women became low rise and firmer on the hips. Legs widened out and were sometimes cuffed. Eventually, flares came into fashion (http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1971fashions.html).

This issue of the North East Leader also featured an extensive sales promotion for the St. Agnes shopping centre. Take a look at this advertisement for Witchery which was printed on page 11 and the funky bohemian image that this brand was trying to sell. In the 1960s and 1970s Witchery opened retail outlets at many suburban locations such as at the St. Agnes and Ingle Farm shopping centres.

Witchery advertisement
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Book drought makes history

The Tea Tree Gully Library service has always been popular! As featured in a previous Way back when, Wednesdays post the official opening of a new public library made front page news in the North East Leader, a Messenger newspaper, on 5 March 1969. The Library, which operated out of a mobile bus, had moved its service into the building which was formerly the Modbury Primary School and headmaster’s cottage, now designated as 561 Montague Road, Modbury. On page 3 of the edition dated 9 April 1969, the North East Leader reported on a possible book shortage after only one month, as the new library service had proved so popular with local residents.

Library fines

As stated in the Messenger article above, since the new library had opened, memberships had soared to over 4000 and nearly 10,000 books were on loan. Unfortunately many of the Library’s avid readers were not particularly conscientious when it came to returning their items and the Library’s book stock had become depleted.  Members had also failed to return 1,600 books which had been issued to them on the old mobile library.  When you think about it, for a building of its size, the Montague Road library actually had quite a substantial book stock.

The Librarian in charge, Mr. W. Bustelli thought that introducing a system of fines would motivate library members to return books on time. We don’t have information about whether library fine were introduced in 1969. We would love to hear about your experiences if you remember using the library on Montague Road!

Fortunately, in 2018 the City of Tea Tree Gully Library has considerably more items available for loan than in 1969. The Library holds approximately 64,000 books for adults, 25000 for children and adolescents, 4,500 magazines and 17,000 audio visual materials (this includes DVDs, CDs and audiobooks). You can now also access audio and e-books and take advantage of approximately 4 million items through the SA Public Libraries One Card Network. In 2017 the Library lent out an average of 73,210 items per month.

 

Boca Chica bar

The old schoolhouse building at 561 Montague Road, Modbury is now the home of Sfera’s ‘Boca Chica’, a Spanish inspired concept restaurant and bar.

 
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Way back when, Wednesdays

Pizza delivered, hot and fresh

Safe driving pizza delivery

In the first part of the 1980s, getting a pizza meant dining-in at a Pizza Hut restaurant or picking up a takeaway from your local Italian pizza bar. Everybody thought it was fantastic when you watched an American movie and somebody picked up the telephone to order pizza (usually pepperoni) and it was actually delivered to their door! In 1984 Dial-a-Dino’s commenced its revolutionary pizza home delivery service in Adelaide. On page 5 of the edition dated 25 February 1987, the Leader Messenger featured a story about Dial-a-Dino’s sending it’s young employees on a safe driving course.

Young driver training

Adelaide entrepreneur Richard Westcombe founded Dial-a-Dino’s. Pizza delivery proved to be a commercial success in Adelaide. It was easy to order over the telephone and people enjoyed the novelty value of experiencing a delivery. You would eagerly wait and look out the window to see the distinctive delivery vehicle arrive, a bright yellow Daihatsu with a large red illuminated telephone receiver on the roof. Dial-a-Dino’s expanded its business with outlets in five other Australian states. The company grew to operate 110 stores nationally with a fleet of 220 cars.

You can view old television advertisements for Dial-a-Dino on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com

You might also remember Pizza Haven. The Pizza Haven delivery service was also established in 1984. Financed by their parents, Adelaide brothers Evan, Louis, Bill and Gabriel Christou were opened the initial pizza outlet in Glenelg and established a franchise. Pizza Haven’s blue delivery cars featured an effigy of their mascot, the Pizza Parrot, on the roofs. Pizza Haven provided some competition for Dial-a-Dino’s. People would argue about which company made the better pizza. The Eagle Boys Pizza chain bought out Pizza Haven in July 2008.

In March 1989, Pizza Hut, which was part of PepsiCo Australia, bought out Dial-a-Dino’s and abolished its brand. Pizza delivery outlets were renamed Pizza Hutt Delivery. The advent of pizza delivery in Adelaide effectively put an end to the dine-in Pizza Hutt family restaurant. It was more convenient to eat at home. Pizza Hut became the leader in the pizza delivery market. However, strong competition arrived for Pizza Hut with the opening of Domino’s Pizza in Australia. Pizza Hut would buy out Eagle Boys in 2016 to try and increase its share of the market.

Now pizza eaters are spoilt for choice, with the advent of restaurant delivery services such as Menulog and Uber Eats. Many small pizza restaurants have entered the online environment by entering into partnership with these companies.

1a3d7659c53f2e53b2968dc6dfcd8bcd pizza

Image: Herald Sun

Despite the promotional image above, Dial-a-Dino’s delivery drivers were quite young. In South Australia the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 made it illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of age, which included discrimination in employment (http://www.hebtechstaging.com/resources/discrimination-laws/south-australian-laws). So it is disappointing that this article states that Dial-a-Dino’s drivers were all aged between 16-18 years of age, a statistic that reflects poorly on this company.

The speed limit has also changed in South Australia since 1987. The default speed limit in urban areas in South Australia was reduced from 60km/h to 50km/h on 1 March 2003 (casr.adelaide.edu.au/publications/researchreports/CASR005.pdf).

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