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Moira’s story, turning 100 and growing up in the valley

Moira Burgi, a valued Cire In Home Care client, celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday 25th July 2016.  Moira is the only grand-child remaining of the original Burgi family, the first settlers in the Wandin district.

Celebrations for Moira’s centenary began with a special mass for her on Saturday 23rd July at her Catholic Church in Lilydale where not only she, but also her mother was Christened. This was followed by a celebration of Moira’s milestone with a gathering of over 150 family and friends at the Gruyere Hall on Sunday 24th July.

“It felt like it was happening to someone else, not me.  It was such a lovely day, I spoke to so many people and it will take me a long, long time to read each of the cards.”  Moira speaking about her celebrations

Johann Burgi, Moira’s grandfather, was a German-speaking Swiss man who came to Victoria in 1854.  He met and married Mary Tyne in 1864, an Irish immigrant from Tipperary, Ireland.  They had 10 children: the second born in 1866, was Edmund, Moira’s father.

In that year Johann had been experimenting growing tobacco on Sam de Pury’s property in Lilydale.  It was at this time that land in the Wandin area was surveyed and made available. Johann selected Lot No.1, a heavily timbered and completely undeveloped area on the corner of what is now known as Burgi Hill Road and Victoria Road.

He set to and cleared enough land to build what he described as “a good comfortable hut” and moved there on May 11th, 1867, bringing his wife and 15 month old son Edmund, Moira’s father with him.

Edmund, in turn, married Mary Lily Kiernan.  They built a house in Victoria Road where Moira was brought up with her two brothers, Bernie and Eddie.  This house is still Moira’s home to this day.

Life was very different when Moira was a child.  She couldn’t recall having any toys – just a paling through the fence for a see-saw and a farm pony to ride.  There were few other children around for herself and her brothers to play with except for their three cousins from Lot 1 John, Mary and Nancy. Church was an hour’s drive away in an open jinker, but Moira’s mother made sure the family never missed a Sunday.

Moira was at school at the convent in Lilydale from the age of 7 years and up until she was 15 in 1931.  Ten years later she trained as a mothercraft nurse and worked with many families in Victoria and interstate.  This was followed by more than a decade in the office at Belloc House in Kew.  In the mid 60’s, she returned home to Wandin to care for her mother full time.

Moira’s father Edmund was the first European child in Wandin.  He and Moira, between them, have seen all of Wandin’s development since.

“Today there are roads, churches, sporting grounds, schools, shopping centres, cars and all sorts of motor vehicles, iPods and mobile phones.  Imagine life in 1866, no running water, no power, no refrigeration or air-conditioning, no phones, no cars, no public facilities, no schools, no glad-wrap and the ‘local’ priest was in Heidelberg! We have certainly come a long way in my 100 years.”

Moira has been a client of Cire In Home Care for a number of years now, and credits her being able to stay in her family home with the expert care and assistance she receives from her carers.

“Thank you so much for all your assistance.  Without your help, I would not have been able to remain in my own home for so long.”

Moira’s long term carers Cassie and Bev very much enjoyed joining in the Sunday afternoon celebrations for Moira’s 100th.

We finish this article with a couple of quotes from Moira.

“Thank you for helping me celebrate my very special birthday”.

“The past is just a memory away…”

If you would like to know more about Cire In Home Care services click here or call 1300 835 235.

Cire In Home Care – Supporting people to live independently 

YVCS November was a big month

The Yarra Valley Community School had another great month. Lots of activity and some celebrations were the highlights of a very productive month.


Photo shoot for the new brochure

Image of the YVCS brochureBoth campuses got involved in a professional photo shoot for the official YVCS brochure. The students who participated were really enthusiastic and helped our marketing department by role playing scenarios that could be featured in the final artwork for the brochure. There were many laughs during the shoot, the students were able to do the odd ‘Blue Steel’ and other poses to make the occasion an enjoyable one.

A huge thanks to those who participated and thanks for the support from Lisa Angus Photography.

The brochure is now available at both YVCS campuses and reception at the community house in Yarra Junction and the Mt Evelyn office, so if you haven’t seen it be sure to pick one up on your next visit.


Congratulations Harley

Image of Hayley Lubeck with his awardYVCS student Harley Lubeck (middle) was recently awarded the Ian De La Rue Youth Initiative Award, along with four other outstanding young locals for his contribution to the community. The award was presented by the Warburton and Yarra Junction Community Banks and is named in honour of the late Ian Delarue, inaugural chairman of the Upper Yarra Community Enterprise (Warburton Community Bank). It is presented annually in the spirit of Ian’s commitment to our community and his passion for encouraging young people to strive for excellence and to be active in and contribute to their local community.

Harley, who was nominated by Tony Aulich of Yarra Junction Football Netball Club (YJFNC), has without exception demonstrated a maturity and clear passion for his area. Harley recently completed his VCAL at Yarra Valley Community School (YVCS) as well as actively participating recently in the Warburton Skate Park initiative and a co-organised fundraiser for war veterans.

Harley  assisted the YJFNC by taking on an array of responsibilities after the death of club stalwart Peter Wadsworth. Tony says, “Harley has stepped up and has continued the type of work that Peter did putting up his hand for anything that’s asked. He has never missed a night, or a day, and is reliability and initiative personified.” Harley also coaches the after-school kids football program through YJFNC.

Harley was recognised not only as a community leader but a role model to other young men, “He shows other youth they can do it,” said Tony.

Among the audience when the awards were presented was Tony Aulich and YVCS Yarra Junction VCAL Coordinator Karen Swankie, who are both extremely proud of Harley’s achievement.


Image of Karen Swankie and Liz NunnPositive outcomes with Anglicare

On Wednesday 18 November 2015, Anglicare – Linking Youth and Families Together (LYFT) and YVCS celebrated their collaborative working partnership. Students were recognised for making positive changes, setting goals and embracing life improvement skills. All staff were present to celebrate this partnership with a very delicious sponge cake that was enjoyed by all.

LYFT service is an element of the Substance Use Recovery (sURe) program that assists young people and their families experiencing difficulties associated with alcohol and drug use.

“Over the past two and half years I have had the privilege of working with the staff and students at YVCS. I worked at YVCS as their Drug and Alcohol Counsellor rachieving some successful outcomes.

YVCS has worked extensively with Anglicare to deliver programs and services to those at risk young people; to support their engagement in education and training, reduce anti-social, unhealthy behaviour, provide positive benefits to the community with very positive outcomes.

I am honoured to be part of such a fantastic youth program which is not only beneficial to the future of the lives of these youth people, but to the community of the Yarra Ranges.”
Elizabeth Nunn – Youth and Family Councillor – Anglicare 

“This has been a marvellous program and the students have participated enthusiastically. Liz has established a wonderful relationship with each of the students involved.”
Tony Aulich – YVCS Education Support


If you would like to know more about our youth education services and VCAL programs click here.