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These pages are a collection of stories from the Writer's Group at Box Hill U3A.


Melbourne - The City I Love

Of course I am biased, Melbourne is the only city I have lived in, all my life. I was born in 1933 in Kew and was also educated here too. Even as a young girl I was always excited at the prospect of going into the city with my parents. In those days in the 40's we all had to dress nicely as it was quite an occasion. We were so proud of our lovely city. Even today visit there, I still feel compelled to dress well.

Melbourne today, is vastly different from when it was established in 1835 by John Batman and John Pascoe Fawkner, and it was a city not founded as a convict colony. Our current population is approx. 4 million and 36% of the people come from many diverse backgrounds, these different cultures have enabled us to understand and enjoy a vast variety of food, and I love to dine out at Thai, Chinese, Indian, or Vietnamese restaurants.

Another aspect of beautiful Melbourne that I love is the Arts and Culture scene in St Kilda road. Music and ballet concerts are always special events to be enjoyed, and when the spire was erected as part of the Art centre, Melbournians were overjoyed. These days the spire is illuminated at night with a spectacular light show.

As I am a keen gardener, I love visiting our magnificent Botanical Gardens. I used to marvel at how the lawns and plants looked so lush and green during our severe drought. A couple of years ago, American friends from South Carolina visited us. We took them to the Gardens for coffee and cake. They were so impressed and said they even surpassed Central Park in New York. We have many other lovely parks and gardens around Melbourne and suburbs, but I particularly love the floral clock in St. Kilda road.

The murky, grey/brown Yarra River also provides entertainment for many thousands of people, particularly at Moomba when the river and banks are used for waterskiing, boating and sightseeing. I enjoy walking along the banks of the Yarra on a cool day.

Melbourne is classed the sports capital of Australia, and many people are very supportive of Australian rules football, soccer, basketball and cricket. The sport I particularly love to see is the Australian Open Tennis Championships each January, at the Rod Laver Arena. It is a real spectacle! During March the Grand Prix is held at another lovely venue, around Albert Park Lake; I enjoy watching it. I also love the Melbourne Cup, held on the first Tuesday of November each year at the beautiful Flemington Race course. I have attended there on a few occasions in my younger days and enjoyed it immensely, but now all our family come together to watch the race on our large T.V screen. We all admire the lovely clothes and the spectacular display of roses. A truly wonderful sight!

Melbourne's diverse architecture is another plus for the city. I have mixed views, some edifices I love, but the Federation Square is not one of my favourites. (I know that many people do not agree) In my opinion, the Exhibition Building and surrounds are very elegant and appealing. I also love St Paul's Cathedral in Swanston street, with its beautiful interior and lovely organ. When I occasionally attended services there I loved the peaceful and serene atmosphere.

Our newest building is the Eureka Tower, it is 300 metres high and the tallest residential structure in the world. I have been to the top and marvelled at the wonderful views of our lovely city and surrounds the huge windows afford.

These are just a few charms of the Melbourne I love, the most liveable city in the world! But the most important reason for loving Melbourne is having my wonderful family and good friends here. Melbourne has a very special place in my heart.

Ann Ready