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Docklander - June 2013

28 May 2013

Docklander - June 2013 Image

Happy birthday Barbara

One of Docklands’ first residents celebrated her 80th birthday last month.

Barbara Rowe has lived in Docklands for almost 11 years and has seen the suburb grow from its earliest days.

“I feel like a pioneer, I’ve seen it from the start,” she said.

Barbara can remember looking out from her apartment balcony in NewQuay and watching hot air balloons take off from the site where the NAB building now sits.

And as Docklands has grown, Barbara has kept a record. Since moving to Docklands she’s created scrapbooks with information and news clippings about the area.

“The books have gotten quite full,” Barbara said.

Barbara’s scrapbooks even feature a friend’s photos of Docklands taken in the 1940s.

But even without pictures, Barbara can remember the Docklands that once existed.

“I still remember it from years ago as a small child being driven along Footscray Rd and looking across,” she said.

“But back then I never once thought I would one day live here.”

Before moving to Docklands, Barbara and her husband Trevor lived on a bush mountain block in Tasmania.

Of course moving to Docklands was quite a big change, but now Barbara says she can’t imagine living anywhere else.

And Docklands has proved to be the perfect place for Barbara to continue to explore her artistic flair.

She said she often collected interesting bits and pieces from around Docklands.

A curled and tangled piece of wire she collected on one of her walks is just one of the interesting pieces that adorns the walls of Barbara’s apartment.

“I love rusty pieces and always keep my eyes out for wire.”

She said whenever she goes for a walk in Docklands she always keeps her eyes on the ground, in search of the next unique piece.

“I’ve got some of the old pieces of the wharf that I haven’t put together yet. But to me that’s sort of important, it’s history.”

Apart from the creative scavenging opportunities, Barbara has also found Docklands to be the perfect place to make plenty of friends.

“I’ve made so many friends here, more friends than anywhere else,” she said.

From the local craft group, to random meetings in the lift and foyer, Barbara said she’s gathered a wide group of friends over the past decade.

“I sometimes think I must be the oldest in the building, but there are so many young people around and I think they help keep me young,” she said.

And many of the friends she had made over her time in Docklands joined her to celebrate her birthday last month.

For Barbara, all of the elements that make up Docklands have made it a home she can’t imagine leaving.

“I often ask myself ‘if you left where would you go?’ and I simply don’t have an answer.”

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