Thoughts from the Village

It’s fifteen years since The Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne.
15 – 26 March 2006

During the year leading up to the games The Golfer and I were involved with Team Melbourne assisting organisers and their staff in various roles. The Golfer was part of the organising team getting The Queen’s Baton Relay ‘up and then off and running’ – I spent many hours with the ‘entertainment staff’ involved with the Opening Ceremony. All good fun doing a couple of shifts a week in the World Trade Centre.

Once the games started he took up his allocated position with one of the visiting teams and I began ‘working’ in the Guest Pass Centre situated right beside the main entrance to the Athlete’s Village. Nobody got in without the correct pass – press included. I refused entry to a BBC reporter one day, she was all geared up to interview a medal winner but the agency responsible for obtaining their passes hadn’t done the necessary paper work. Not a happy chappy indeed – she got her interview in the end, not in the village but outside the gate under the nearby gum trees.

I’m on another clear out mission and found a journal of my thoughts from that time
Here’s some of them

“Australia Day was great. The two of us took part in the parade down Swanston Street wearing the official uniform…..what the Melbourne Press are describing as Smurf suits. There are thousands of us running around the city and environs having fun ‘volunteering’. Only a few weeks until the games begin!”
~ ~ ~ ~

“Well, its been quite a while since a week has passed by as quickly as this last one. All I seem to have done is travel, smile at people, travel and then sleep.”

“Life in the Athletes Village at Parkville is becoming more hectic each day as teams are arriving along with their officials. I am slowly getting to recognise some of the team colours and their outfits – even a few large as life characters attached to teams – so can say Hello and know where some of them are from. Its a good job they have the country names on the back as I’m not sure if I’ll get to remember all 71 team colours when they have all arrived.”

“There are lots of visitors passing through the area where I am working – am having a lot of contact with what we would possibly call the general public (guests of the athletes and officials and Village Management) – not the VIPs tho – they are ushered into the lounge next to ours. Its got carpet on the floor and not vinyl!!”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I have regained all that feeling of confidence and corny as it may sound ‘worth’ that I had whilst I was working, it is sort of taken away when you retire especially when asked what you do. Why does it seem as tho people lose interest when you describe your daily life in retirement and they realise its not a working for cash life.”

“I think about all the people I am working with in my area at the village and realise some of them would drive me nuts if I had to work alongside them permanently. Then I wonder if it is me and whether I am set in my ways having worked on my own or in a small office environment for most of my working life.

There definitely are some strange pedantic people out there and I wonder how they got on with their work colleagues during their working life.

Maybe they drove them nuts as well😊”

~ ~ ~

“Today Sunday has been HOT and very windy and not a comfortable day out at the Village. With it being a Fire Ban Day and having a Northerly blowing its been hard to reassure guests that they will enjoy their visit. Hopefully their hosts took them to the dining room to cool off for part of the time – its airconditioned in there – and allow them to recuperate”

“Loads of extra security today……………..we had a visit from Mr Howard (PM) who just popped in to say hello and have a look see. Wonder if Her Majesty will be along when she is in town?”

~ ~ ~ ~

“The look and feel of Melbourne is good at the moment.
Yesterday I took my turn at Federation Square welcoming visitors onto the Village Shuttle service, my goodness the amount of people out and about was overwhelming.

Had a little break and was able to wander round the Square, nearly got crushed in the crowd. Discovered the big hoarding with the photos taken during the Australia Day Parade. Was surprised to see little short me in the corner right on the edge (under the word centre) next to the tall fella. Someone took my photo as a keep sake 😊

As well as the crowd in Fed Square, the outside of Flinders St station and St Paul’s Cathedral was packed with people listening to the group playing by the church as well as deciding which way they had to go to reach different venues. It was windy and a bit chilly part of the time but that didn’t seem to bother anyone at all especially the kids by the thousand and their frazzled carers ( parents, grandparents or whoever). Lots of noise, smiles and laughter, had a great time and hope I’m on the Fed Square roster again next week.”

16 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Village

  1. Hi, Cathy…great memories to have and reflect upon…and it’s great you recorded them, and have shared your written thoughts with us. A most interesting time for you, and I bet you don’t regret volunteering. (And, yes…there are lots of people around who would drive me nuts, too! lol)

    Have a Happy Easter…take good care. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading them Lee. I’d forgotten about my little book so enjoyed reading and reliving them as well. Happy Easter to you also


  2. what a great challenge for you and all the people involved – the “behind the scenes” as such – one doesn’t realise how many volunteers are needed until you’ve involved in a big event. And then there were your words of “crowds” – something that disappeared during 2020 and even now in in 2021…

    I sit here in my little cocoon and yes I can here traffic and they are still working on a couple of building sites in the ‘hood with that kind of noise. But other than birds the only person I’ve seen this morning is a delivery guy for u/2. I had so many changes when I moved here about 5 years ago, one of the “lesser noise” that I do like but that also means less interaction in a way…I have to go off site to find that “noise”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a fabulous experience Cathy….we were involved with FINA world swimming event here in Melbourne as well but the Games well and truly topped that.

      Oh weren’t the streets quiet and empty this past year, things are returning to pre covid but very slowly, trains are filling up, city workers have been given the ok to return but many of them have preferred to work at home so are still doing so


  3. ‘Sense of purpose’ is what shines out of that. I’ve been reflecting on that lately and wondering what purpose to have to make retirement meaningful to me.


  4. Isn’t that just terrific, that you did it, and wrote notes about the experience. I can remember the games more vividly than the Sydney Olympics.


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