Our very own Southcarer Jo, who uses her caring hands to interview, write and share Southcare’s stories has been named as runner up in the 2023 Local History Awards with the Town of Victoria Park, after writing about her mother-in-law Molly, who is also a Southcare Star.

Jo’s memoir of Molly is called “Copper Pots, Socks and Jocks: Life Raising 5 Boys Under a Hills Hoist in the 1950s in East Victoria Park” and is a humorous tribute to family life.

“The story is centred around the copper pot which many would know as the washing machine from that era, that sat quite literally in the heart of this home, and just like a real heart, it took a beating, keeping up with the never-ending washing that came with five growing boys.

While scrolling through socials, Jo happened upon the competition and through her curiosity and passion for writing attended the information session to learn more.  Originally thinking the competition would be a great opportunity for her 11-year-old son Ollie, who is a history buff, after taking time to reflect during a holiday in Dongara she decided to enter a story herself.

“I am a storyteller but don’t often write for myself as I am always writing about other people’s stories, so this was a great personal project for me!,” Jo says.

“Plus, our family now has a permanent record of Molly and her husband Ken’s story forever saved in the City’s archives which is a wonderful legacy.

“Families carry meaningful stories that sometimes remain untold, so it was great to research and pass on part of our story for future generations.”

With the apple not falling fall far from the tree, Jo’s son Ollie also submitted a history story on the 123-year history of the fire stations in the Town of Victoria Park, which won the original research category.

Well done Jo and Ollie on your awards, keep on using your caring hands!

You can check out both Jo’s and Ollie’s submissions here:

Personal Memoirs Category

Second prize awarded to Jo Newman for her entry entitled “Copper Pots, Socks and Jocks: Life Raising 5 Boys Under a Hills Hoist in the 1950s in East Victoria Park”.

A fun and lively description of the family life of Ken and Molly Newman at 16 Whittlesford Street, East Victoria Park. The judges described this entry as “delightful, though short – well written and takes the reader through many seemingly mundane aspects of family life, starting with the copper, the central point in the house and making them interesting and informative in a very engaging way.”

Original Research Category (by a School Aged Child)

First prize awarded to Oliver Newman aged 11, for his entry entitled “The Burning History of the Victoria Park Fire Stations 1900-2023”.

The judges said that Oliver’s entry was “a very readable narrative, informally written and using humour playing on his subject matter – ‘up in smoke’, ‘a bright spark’, ‘burning question’, ‘keeping our history alight’. A delight to read and contains a wealth of information arranged chronologically. Perceptive – critical analysis – short hoses and no hydrants, identifying that the first fire station was made largely of wood and there was a wooden ladder on the fire engine – not the best material to have in a fire. Excellent conclusion, with an overview followed by the Fireman’s Prayer.”