Lions Club of Altona past president Maurie Tanian is gearing up for a big Australia Day Breakfast. The Williamstown resident speaks with Goya Dmytryshchak.
What’s your connection to Hobsons Bay?
I was a country boy who grew up in Ballarat. My parents came from Warrnambool and Gellibrand, near Colac. I became a teacher and I taught in the country areas before coming to live in the west in 1980.
What do you like about Williamstown?
I have lived in Williamstown since 1982 and love it here. I particularly like the friendliness of the people and the olde-world, village atmosphere of this suburb. At the same time, I also like the fact that it is very close to all the sporting facilities like the MCG and close to the city for theatre and galleries.
What would you change?
I worry a bit about how Williamstown is slowly changing, with proposed high-rise developments and so many new flats and apartments replacing old, historic dwellings. I hope that our town planners will tread carefully and sensitively with their decisions, as we are the original settlement of Melbourne. Additionally, it would be a shame if we lose the RSL which is a local landmark and means a lot to local residents.
What’s your favourite cafe and/or eatery?
Wow! That’s a difficult question. There are so many excellent cafes in Williamstown, such as MezMez, Novel Kitchen and Parade Deli & Fine Foods. However, my favourite restaurant would be Hellenic Hotel.
Tell me about the Australia Day breakfast.
As a member of the Lions Club of Altona, in 2000 I proposed that we conduct a one-off Australia Day breakfast for the local community. Can you believe that my wife, Anne, also a Lion, and I are now planning for our upcoming 17th consecutive Australia Day breakfast on January 26 at Williamstown Town Hall? We hope to have a bumper attendance. Over the years, we have had some great Australia Day ambassadors/speakers including Susan Alberti, Mike Brady, the late Joan Kirner and Fabian Dattner.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Two things that many people might not know about me: I was a school principal at two schools in the western suburbs and I am still involved in relief teaching at Williamstown North. In 1996-97, at the Lions’ national convention in Adelaide, I was elected to the position of national chairman of the Lions Club of Australia. Lions Australia has approximately 30,000 members and are Australia’s largest community service club.
The Australia Day breakfast, costing $30 per head, is at Williamstown Town Hall from 8.15am on Thursday, January 26.
Bookings: 0409 413 230