Don and Mavis Meek in the front garden of their Burgess St
home. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The first time Don and Mavis Meek saw their new home in
Burgess St, Green Island, was the day they moved in.
That was 1953 and their house, one of the last in the street
to be completed, was so new the mortar around the fireplace
was still wet.
''People were scrambling for houses in those days. We didn't
even bother coming to have a look first; we just arrived in a
taxi and moved in,'' Mrs Meek said.
Sixty years on, the house is still home.
Burgess St is lined with tidy, well-spaced 1950s state houses
and climbs the hill from Brighton Rd to a gated paddock at
the end of the street.
''When people are trying to find us, I just tell them to look
for the tip and turn left,'' Mr Meek said.
When they first arrived, Burgess St was full of families.
Mrs Meek said children played in the street and in the
paddock at the top of the road, but the adults largely kept
''It's always been friendly, but it's never been one of those
streets where people drop in all the time.''
Now in their 80s, the Meeks are the last of the original
''People have either died or moved away so the people are
different, but it's always been a good street to live in.''
Before retiring in 1985, Mr Meek worked for 40 years at the
Hillside workshops, but had to hang up his work boots at 55.
''They had a rule at Hillside that no-one could work there
for more than 40 years. So after 40 years, I was out,'' he
Retirement meant the Meeks were able to spend more time
together and doing the things they enjoyed.
''The soil around here is amazing. This whole area used to be
a cattle paddock and the earth is really rich. We couldn't
believe the size of the veges we got out of the garden.''
Mr Meek said the gardening was a bit heavy for them now and
they got someone else to do the lawns.
But still fit and active, he was looking forward to spending
some time at the bowling club this summer.
The track through the paddock at the top of the street was
the best way to get there, he said.
The Meeks said they had thought about moving, possibly to a
retirement village, but probably not soon.
''It'd take us five years just to clean out the cellar.''
- Steve Bolton