Pianist Nancy Weir in 1929, aged 10

Nancy Weir – pianist and spy

23/11/2018 Raine Biancalt

Nancy Mary Weir was born in Kew on 13 July 1915; a child prodigy, she knew the piano keyboard at 18 months and when four sneaked out to a nearby convent for lessons from a nun. At 13, she performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Melbourne Symphony under conductor Fritz Hart following which Melbourne’s lord mayor launched a public subscription for her to study in Europe.

Iris (middle), purchases in hand, ca 1940

A teenager’s war

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

Two years before she died in 1984 for a history assignment I interviewed my mother Iris from the perspective of a ‘Melbourne teenager during World War II’. I was often surprised by her comments about life at the time.

Les Knight and his crew

Les Knight: Dambuster

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

Leslie Gordon Knight, DSO (7 March 1921 – 16 September 1943) was a Royal Australian Air Force pilot who served with the RAF’s Bomber Command during World War II. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in 1943 for taking part in Operation Chastise while flying with 617 Squadron.

Yooralla

Yooralla – one hundred years

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

One hundred years ago, Evangeline Ireland (Sister Faith) found a young disabled girl left inside a chicken coop while her parents were at work. That incident led to her establishing Victoria’s first free kindergarten for disabled children: ‘Yooralla’ (an Aboriginal word meaning ‘place of love’).

Sergeant Francis Douglas Burrell

Guarding the Shrine: the Burrells of Burwood

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

William Burrell and his wife Francis (née Turner) were among the earliest settlers in Burwood. William, a blacksmith and farrier, conducted his business in Toorak Road. Of their eight children, Doug, Jim, and Wilfred served during WWI. Born in 1891, Doug was the first to enlist and joined the 1st Signal Corps Australian Light Horse, arriving in Egypt for further training before going on to Anzac Cove on 12 May 1915.

Freda Miles

Freda Miles: Local Op Shop volunteer

31/08/2018 Raine Biancalt

Belated happy birthday greetings to local resident, Freda Miles (née Webb), who turned 101 years old on 22 August. Freda was born in Northamptonshire England, where she worked as a tailor. She and husband Reg married in 1938 just prior to World War II; she recalls that they were only bombed ‘a couple of times’!

Australian Youth Band

AYB is everywhere!

02/06/2018 Raine Biancalt

THE local Ashwood-based Australian Youth Band (AYB) is proud to hold the title of the premier youth marching and concert band in Melbourne and Victoria. The band performs at iconic Melbourne parades, popular regional festivals, major sporting events, marching band festivals, corporate functions as well as on overseas tours.

Towards Heaven - Karl Duldig

Duldig Studio Museum – a Modernist Marriage

02/06/2018 Raine Biancalt

DULDIG Studio Museum at 92 Burke Road Malvern East is the former home and studio of sculptor Karl Duldig (1902-1986) and his wife, artist and inventor, Slawa Horowitz (c1902-1975). Karl’s original studio, kiln, tools, work and the adjoining garden with bronze and terracotta sculptures remain as he left them.

Morten the Monster in The Big Tree app

Helping Kids climb the Big Tree

01/12/2017 Raine Biancalt

The Australina Childhood Foundation has an app called ‘The Big Tree’ to support children to have fun while they practise calming techniques and listen to stories that teach them problem solving strategies. It uses narratives, games and creative activities to help children learn how relationships can support them to meet challenges which can feel overwhelming on their own.