Lat­est dis­play im­presses

The Tatura Guardian - - News - By De­clan Martin

This week Moy­ola Lodge res­i­dents and staff were buzzing with chat­ter about Russ O’Hal­lo­ran’s lat­est ex­hi­bi­tion of tele­phones from the turn of the cen­tury to present day.

Self-con­fessed vin­tage item col­lec­tor Mr O’Hal­lo­ran, who does main­te­nance work at the lodge, has trans­formed an old wa­ter fea­ture in the lodge’s main hall­way into ex­hi­bi­tion space for his im­pres­sive col­lec­tions.

Moy­ola spokesper­son Marli Kelly said the dis­play had been a big talk­ing point among res­i­dents be­cause the theme res­onated with them.

‘‘Every­one has had a tele­phone and it’s amaz­ing to see all the dif­fer­ent eras of phones,’’ Ms Kelly said.

Mr O’Hal­lo­ran said he had learned more about the items from the res­i­dents.

‘‘They were us­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion ter­mi­nol­ogy, such as ‘ party line’, which I had not heard be­fore,’’ he said.

‘‘Turns out group chat has been around for a long time.’’

The dis­play took sev­eral hours and some of the fea­tures of it are the World War II field phone from Europe that was stored in a home’s at­tic for more than 60 years, a ro­tary dial phone, bake­lite, early Nokias and even Mr O’Hal­lo­ran’s first ever phone he owned.

‘‘My dad worked for a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany and I learned to ap­pre­ci­ate the older phone mod­els and col­lected a bunch of them dur­ing the years,’’ he said.

‘‘I can’t pin­point the old­est phone I have as there are many dif­fer­ent brands, but I think it is around the late 1800s early 1900s.

‘‘I started col­lect­ing as a kid, only small things; as I got older I’ve col­lected big­ger and big­ger stuff to the point where I can fill a shed plus some.’’

Mr O’Hal­lo­ran es­ti­mates he has enough vin­tage and retro items to fill an 80-sq-m space, so there are plenty of ideas for fu­ture dis­plays at Moy­ola Lodge.

He has al­ready done dis­plays for the AFL Grand Fi­nal Week that fea­tured VFL guernseys and a horse racing one for the Mel­bourne Cup and Oaks Day.

‘‘It gets the res­i­dents rem­i­nisc­ing and the vin­tage mem­o­ra­bilia is al­ways ap­pre­ci­ated; it also helps Mr O’Hal­lo­ran de­velop a re­la­tion­ship with the res­i­dents,’’ Ms Kelly said.

Mr O’Hal­lo­ran changes the dis­plays ev­ery six weeks, but will take a break for Christ­mas with the res­i­dents’ craft dec­o­ra­tions set to take over the space.

Vin­tage: Russ O’Hal­lo­ran and Moy­ola Lodge res­i­dent Leo Carrafa check out a wooden crank phone in front of the phone ex­hi­bi­tion.

Retro: Russ O’Hal­lo­ran’s Footy dis­play he cre­ated for AFL Grand Fi­nal Week this year.

Oaks Day: Moy­ola’s ev­ery­thing man’’ Russ O’Hal­lo­ran put in a special in­stal­la­tion for the oc­ca­sion.

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