Meet Les, one of our local heroes, who was awarded the French Legion of Honour this year for his service as a paratrooper during the D-Day landings of World War II. With a grin and a sparkle in his eye, he talked to me about his wartime service (only briefly, though, as he’s not a particularly sentimental man), immigrating from the UK to Australia in the fifties, and living in the Western District of Victoria.
Edit: Sadly, I heard a week later that Les passed away. I feel so fortunate to have met him and had this opportunity to make his portrait. What a wonderful fellow.
Harrow is a vibrant town and community, way out west in Victoria, Australia, rich in history and character. I moved here a few years ago when I fell in love with a hand-made house (I tell people I moved here for an amazing house, and stayed for the wonderful community), and have never had a moment’s regret. Coming here felt like coming home. In the time I have lived here I have volunteered for community service for the first time, been the editor of the local newsletter, edited a book as part of a five-year community project, learned to contribute to something bigger than my own life, made forever-friends, and become the best version of myself so far. Harrow – where volunteerism has become a fine art – is filled with people with similar stories.
Tonight, Harrow’s people crowded into the local pub to watch the screening of the Harrow episode of ABC TV’s Back Roads, though it was hard to hear it over all the hooting, laughing and congratulating of various folks as they came on screen. It was a crazy, happy night, and one that will be remembered as part of Harrow’s continuing folklore – from 1800s pioneer town to the little village that punches above its weight to remain relevant when other towns are giving up the ghost.
God bless you Harrow, you’ve got a lot to be proud of.
Like many who moved, or were born, here after the drought turned the lake into a puddle (at most), I have never seen Lake Wallace full. But, while the lake itself is lovely, what amazed me most the evening this shot was taken was the foreshore atmosphere: family groups spread along the banks, enjoying a meal and activities with friends and dogs; motor boats on the water; people cruising by; it felt pretty great to among them.
The locals who grew up here remember it being fuller than it is now, with yachting another favourite pastime. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a good follow-up season to keep the lake in good health, and bring visitors to this special part of Victoria.
The other day I visited friends at nearby Connewirricoo (a locality, not a township), and as we were wandering around the property we came across a docile red-necked wallaby. “Oh he lives here, along with another bigger fella,” my friend told me. He barely batted an eyelid at our intrusion, slowly hopping off to a quieter patch as we passed.
A visit to Bool Lagoon, in South Australia’s southeast region, after heavy spring rains showed vast expanses of water – a welcome sight after many disappointingly dry years. The boardwalks were all under water, this one by about a foot (30cm).
It will, no doubt, be worth returning to again soon see the birds that have returned to this important wildlife park.
Panasonic Lumix GX7 with 14-45mm lens. Mild adjustments made and border added in Snapseed app.