News & Events

Erika takes a rational approach to lockdown

July 27, 2020

When it comes to being level-headed, Erika Mohoric is one of the best.

At 82, the independent Rushall Park resident is a listener and observer. She is also a keen reader.

She could not help but laugh when she heard once again about the rush to buy toilet rolls, tissue paper and flour ahead of the second pandemic lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne.

“It reminded me of the latest book I have read Eggs or Anarchy, which is the tale of how Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, really fed Britain during the Second World War,” Erika said.

“As a nation at war, with supply routes under attack and resources scarce, it was Woolton’s job to fulfil his promise to the British people, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in particular, that there would be food on the shelves each week,” she said.

“It really was eggs or anarchy then, just as it has been toilet paper or anarchy today,” Erika said.

She has not hoarded food over the past months, in fact she is doing the reverse.

“Somehow I seem to have collected so much over the years and the lockdown is giving me the opportunity to declutter, or rationalise my life,” she laughed.

Erika moved to Rushall Park in March 2014 from a unit in Boronia with a large back yard. She wanted to live close to the city and in a garden-like environment with trees and close to public transport.

“The move has been perfect for me in every way,” Erika shared.

Not least because she is a keen walker and always has been since childhood. She has always enjoyed exploring the City’s laneways. For her, they are a trip into history, telling a tale of a world of long ago. Totally different from the CBD’s main streets, she loves the fact that some lanes are dirty and smelly, others are quaint filled with small, old houses and shops, while many have small squares.

More recently, she has been enjoying discovering the suburbs of Fitzroy, Northcote, and Edinburgh Gardens, each with their own history, back lanes, gorgeous gardens and tree-lined streets.

“I walk when I am happy, to solve a problem, when I have had bad news, when the sun is shining. It keeps me fit and in touch with reality.”

Part of that reality is the increasing number of people who are homeless and living on the streets.

“It breaks my heart, and it is one of the reasons why I jumped at the chance to join other residents last year to lay out wooden blocks, each with a word describing home on the steps of Parliament House at the start of Homelessness Week,” Erika said.

“It was a wonderful way to bring attention to housing and the importance of home to everyone, especially for older Victorians,” she said.

Some of her favourite words on the 450 blocks of wood were haven, security, peace, garden, and love.

Although the living art did not attract media attention, many people stopped to take photographs and talk to residents, and to learn more about OCAV.

“It was art and anarchy come alive – a peaceful political statement which made itself felt,” Erika said.

 

Josephine Katite may be a long way from Kenya, where she was born and lived until 2005 but the experience of looking after her elderly grandparents is very much with her every day in her work at Liscombe House.

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