THE STORYTELLERS

LAURICE JONES

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Laurice Jones

Laurice Jones

 

LAURICE JONES: I came to Sydney in 1952. My dad was headmaster - school teacher - so we’d moved around NSW a fair bit … so we arrived in Sydney in 1952 and settled in Shipley Avenue, North Strathfield.

OLEV MUSKA: Now in our conversation earlier you were talking, or you were referring to, the Methodist Church. Tell us a little bit about …

LAURICE: Well, when we came here in 1952, I was in second year high school. My brother was … Uni … my elder sister … Uni and the next eldest sister, she was two years ahead of me at school - 4th year - and I had two younger sisters. We all went up to the church. They had a very vibrant community there. The Sunday school consisted of about 150 children from all around the area. We were up there morning, afternoon and evening each Sunday for different church activities.

We now worship up at Concord West and the central Concord premises we have as our opportunity shop - the Op Shop - which is the only one in the Concord area and a lot of people come. We’re open every Wednesday morning. We’ve just reopened for this year - last Wednesday. All the sales are either 50 cents, a dollar, two dollars, five dollars and that’s it. It’s been a boom to the municipality. The nearest other one’s … there’s one at Anglicare and one at St Vinnie’s, over at Burwood. But here, the people can drive in drop stuff off, whatever, and we have lots of people coming from all over the place to look for bargains. Some people … I believe one lady comes from Bondi Junction every week. Different ones come and we’ve got lots of these … volunteers come from different areas too.

OLEV: So there’s really a strong sense of community there, isn’t there …

LAURICE: Oh, it’s been a boom to the … to our church and also to the community.

OLEV: And that’s what, I suppose, we’re interested in: the way that a community adapts, because things change all the time. Sometimes things don’t go the way that you’d like them to, but this sounds like it’s a real success story.

LAURICE: It is and it’s getting bigger and bigger. We’ve had to re-adapt the premises to sort of cater for the stock that we sell down there but, you know, people … we have our regulars who come in, like people from the hospital often drop in. Teachers from the schools - different ones pop in to buy stuff up for craft work for the children.

OLEV: Are the younger generation coming in as well?

LAURICE: They come in - a lot of them furnish their flats with the second hand cutlery and china - saucepans etc. Oh yes …

OLEV: Come across some real finds sometimes.

LAURICE: I do, I do at times. So you can be very lucky. But it’s been a very good asset to the community as a whole.

OLEV: And that tells me that, you know, a sense of community is really, really important. You know, the moment that you feel that you’re not part or you’re not cared for or looked after…

LAURICE: It certainly is. Well, a lot of the people who come just want to come in and browse around; have a chat.

OLEV: Yeah, not necessarily buy anything …

LAURICE: Not necessarily to buy, but they come; in we get to know them and, you know …

OLEV: So they obviously feel comfortable …

LAURICE: They do. they certainly do. We even have a few of the council people coming in every now and again …

OLEV: … and buying up big … (laughs)

LAURICE: Buying up. Oh yes, you know! I won’t say which ones.

Concord Methodist Churches 1933

 

BACKGROUND

In response to community consultation, a number of local residents were interviewed and recorded. The sessions took place in December 2012 and February 2013 at Concord Library.

A short excerpt from each resident appears on this website. Together, they form a cross-section of insights into the wonderful community that is of and around the North Strathfield area.

The full interviews will be archived and available for borrowing at the City of Canada Bay Council Library Services.


>>> There is more to our story. If you can assist in filling in the gaps and/or providing photos, please email us