Community Seniors Talks

Reminiscence, Memorabilia and all that Jazz!

This presentation focuses on memorabilia used in past Memory Man interviews to help trigger memories. Over 100 items of memorabilia are on display. They are stored in Memory Man’s ‘Box of Tricks’. There is also a ‘Box of Smells’, which contains smells such as moth balls, cloves and lavender.

Listen to real life stories triggered by the sight of an old ‘Kinkara Tea’ postcard, a box of ‘Federal Safety Matches’ and a packet of ‘Old Chums’ cigarettes.

An old ‘RECKITTS BAG BLUE’ conjures up images of boiling up the copper and the drudgery of wash days slaving away in the laundry.

An image of the old ‘RAMSGATE BATHS’ reminds us of school swimming lessons all those years ago when we wore old fashioned and uncomfortable swimming costumes.

Other stories are prompted by smells such as eucalyptus oil. Try the smell test and be surprised at the memories that come flooding back. Or simply sit back and enjoy the nostalgia of seeing once again those old household items of yesteryear.

‘Reminiscence, Memorabilia and All That Jazz!’ is ideal for residents at nursing homes, hostels, friendship groups, aged care centres and senior citizen groups throughout Sydney. Triggers and tales aplenty provoke images of yesteryear.

Come back with Memory Man to the ‘good old days’ and share the fun.


Mate, Can You Spare Me A Deener?

This talk relates tales from Australia’s Depression years. Tough times, yes, but these days were not without humour and were always interesting, as you will find out.

People used their imaginations more in those days. They had to be quite resourceful when it came to putting food on the table. A billy cart became more than a plaything; it could be used to make money for the family.

Remember the dole queues, and the shanty town of Happy Valley on the shores of Botany Bay? These images and many more come flooding back as you listen to the stories of a most interesting era in our history.


Dog Biscuits & Bully Beef

For us dog biscuits and bully beef are two recognizable symbols of Australians at war. The war years, even now, probably feature more in our psyche as a nation than does any other era in our short history. At a national level there was a coming of age and somewhat a loss of innocence. At a personal level there was hardship, mate ship and triumphs.

This talk focuses on the lighter side of war – the mate ship and ingenuity of the digger and, above all, his special brand of humour! Hear personal tales such as the one about teaching the Americans how to play ‘Two-Up’ using lopsided home town rules. Or the one about the war ship colliding with a ‘low lying cloud’. These are just a couple of tales told to Memory Man and now captured for families forever .


That’s Funny, I Thought I’d Forgotten That!

This is a talk based on past Memory Man family interviews. Interview excerpts are short and snappy, and demonstrate how questions and visual prompts trigger memories.

The stories you will hear are typical tales of yesteryear, told by ordinary people living their lives to the full. The war years, the Depression, sporting tales and many other stories from real life are featured. These stories are brought to life with the help of an overhead projector, screen and tape recorder.

Humor is at the forefront of the talk. What you see and hear will rekindle memories long forgotten. Some tales will have your heads nodding in agreement while others will simply blow you away.


A Family Best Seller
The Easy Way To Write Your Life Story

Ever wanted to write your life story for family and friends but the task seemed so difficult it always ended up in the too hard basket? This talk shows you the easy way to do it, based on the experiences of Memory Man.

This is a presentation suitable for Sydney writing groups. It demonstrates how to gather an oral record of your life and how to manipulate the raw material to facilitate writing and publication of a book.

The origins of Memory Man go back to 1996 and a life story interview with a dying father. The recording led to a book, ‘Scone Larrikin’ and an association with the NSW State Library’s Oral History Association Of Australia (OHAA).

Organizing the material for the book involved employing a unique technique to assist publication. In 1997 the OHAA published ‘Scone Larrikin’ in serialized form in the NSW branch magazine ‘VoicePrint’, and this was followed in 1999 with details of the publication process itself in the National Association’s Annual Journal.


‘The Memory Man has a special gift of bringing the past to the people of today. He relates well to people of all ages and encourages older persons to remember and share their memories.’ Jan, Teacher of Children’s Creative Writing Group
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