Max Peake

Max Peake

PP Brian then introduced the speaker for the evening, Mr Max Peake.

For many Rotarians it was a trip down memory lane as Max lived his childhood and early youth in Ivanhoe. His home was in Banksia Street opposite what was known as the Military Hospital (now called the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and a campus of the Austin Hospital).

Life was tough for his family during the time of World War II as Max’s father volunteered to join the army. His father spent a great deal of time away from home, which increased the difficulties for his family. His father served only within Australia and as a consequence of not serving overseas it invalidated his becoming a member of the RSL.

Max reminded us of the coupon books that limited specific foodstuffs that a family could buy, he also remembers cars being fuelled by gas producers.

The then Ivanhoe Shopping Strip in Upper Heidelberg Road had no resemblance to what it is today. In Max’s time it included a Hoyts cinema in the main street. Max even mentioned double decker buses and Ryans Hotel, a famous landmark, now the Ivanhoe Tavern.

At secondary level, Max went to Preston Technical School with some very famous names, including the wonderful Test cricketer Bill “Pigeon” Lawry, Olympic high-jumper, NFL player and murder victim Colin Ridgway and rocker Johnny Chester.

In his youth Max always belonged to the Scouts. He spoke about his adventures whilst in the Rovers in country such as the Bogong High Plains.

Max, an electrician, has done work in many supermarkets mainly on refrigeration. One of his interesting tasks was helping to build the cool room at the Coroners Court; interesting but not necessarily nice.  Since Max retired his passion has become fishing and he proudly boasted of once catching a 9.5 kg snapper.

The interesting and relaxed talk that Max presented was appreciated by the Rotarians present. PP Brian Summers thanked him and presented him with a pen. Max was well applauded by the everyone.