The Little Pantry Movement

While the pandemic has presented many challenges over the last six months, it has also demonstrated the strength of our community with individuals and organisations rallying across a range of activities, such as the volunteers and groups who sewed thousands of masks for distribution to community members. 

Another grassroots community initiative that has emerged is the Little Pantry Movement.  Similar to the Little Library Movement, little pantries support the sharing of food within communities and often bear the sign, 'take what you need, leave what you can'. Whether it's a purpose-built pantry, and upcycled cupboard, or even a fridge, Little Pantries help ensure everyone in the community has access to food.

In Melbourne's western suburbs, a group called The Pātaka Movement are working to set up 100 Little Pantry's across Victoria. Inspired by the The Pātaka Kai or Open Street Pantry Movement in NZ, this group has a Facebook page that provides info on where Little Pantries are located.

If you'd like to find a little pantry near you, or are considering setting up a little pantry in your neighbourhood, check out these links.




Art, Craft and Other Things to Keep You Busy

Re-usable Produce Bags

Use this pattern from the Country Women's Association Victoria to make your own  re-usable veggie bags.

Bags can be made using a very lightweight fabric (to ensure they don't add weight at the cash register) such as curtain mesh and some light weight cord. 100cm x 120cm of fabric will make six produce bags.


DIY Greeting Cards 


Give your Christmas a personal touch this year by making your own Christmas Cards.

Check out these videos for some ideas and step by step instructions. 




Free Online MOOC's 

Future Learn has a short courses from a range of universities including Monash University accessible online for free. There is a series of courses looking at ecosystems and environmental issues, as well as short courses in archaeology, history, career & job skills, and creative arts.


Or find an extensive list of other MOOC websites HERE

DIY Christmas Decorations

This week we're beginning to look at some ideas for celebrating the festive season.

You'll find some gift card ideas, recipes and also these links to ideas for making some low-cost DIY decorations to help make your home feel festive this Christmas. 



New Virtual Dance Classes 

Get your body moving with these free classes celebrating Hobsons Bay’s cultural diversity through dance. Suitable for beginners through to advanced.

Brazillian Forro Dance 
Friday at 6pm
Starts 16 October for four weeks
Free | Online via Zoom   

Congolese Dance 

Wednesday at 5pm
Starts 28 October for four weeks
Free | Online via Zoom   

OPAcize Greek Dance Fitness Program
Wednesday at 7pm
Starts 28 October for six weeks
Free | Online via Zoom   

Contact  Laverton Community Hub on  9932 3011 or register at:

Home For Christmas - Seabreeze Quilters Virtual Retreat 

Some of you may know our Manager, Kim, is an avid quilter and she doesn’t hide it – at all. She is the President of Seabreeze Quilters and they have a virtual retreat, which is open to anyone wanting to join in: 

Home for Christmas Virtual Retreat 
Thursday 22 October – Sunday 25 October 

Seabreeze Quilters received a grant from Hobsons Bay Council to run a series of workshops to create quilts for our ‘Home for Christmas’ project. The aim is to get a bundle of quilts together to go into people’s homes – in time for Christmas. To this plan, we've added the idea of making a decoration or something Christmas related that will bring some additional Christmas cheer into the houses.  

Given our current restrictions, our only chance to do workshops is to run them virtually! 

The aim of this ‘Home for Christmas’ Virtual Retreat is to generate as many quilts (or quilt tops, if you can’t do the quilting) decorations and Christmas goods as we can over those 4 days (and we have November to finish what we can) - so we have a good chance of having a bundle of items to be delivered during December.  

We are putting together a Retreat Kit which will be filled with pattern ideas, a Christmas decoration kit to make (it is actually called ‘Home for Christmas’) and lots of other exciting Christmas treats and surprises.  

Please know that we are not expecting you to spend the whole four days of the Retreat sewing for others. There is plenty of time available for you to do your own sewing – whether that is Christmas related or not. Many of us know, from experience, how wonderful it is to make something for someone else, especially for families and people who have not only experienced the trauma and devastation of the bushfires last summer, but who were then hit with COVID restrictions as well. On the other hand, if you have the time and inclination to sew for this project for the four days and more, then we will assist you in whatever way we can. 

  • If you are making quilts, Seabreeze Quilters can supply the batting (we will work out the logistics of getting that to you).  

  • If you are short on backing fabric, we may be able to help there as well.  

  • We do have funds available for professional quilting for quilts larger than 60” (square) but we hope many of you will have a go at quilting the smaller ones to save on time and funds. If you are giving us a quilt top to finish, please see if you can provide the binding, that will save us a lot of time and effort. 

Please let me know if you have questions – or if I have left out any details.  

Kim Reilly 

Phone: 0409 382 510 



Ferguson & Urie - William Hornby & the Artillery Brewery, Williamstown

Altona-Laverton Historical Society

An unusual pencil sketched design for a stained-glass window exists in the State Library of Victoria. Amongst a collection of drawings, on fragile torn tracing paper, is the design and associated sketches for a stained-glass window intended for William Hornby’s historic Artillery Brewery at Williamstown in Victoria. The design is by the hand of the English stained-glass artist David Relph Drape (1821-1882) who came to Australia in 1858 and worked as Ferguson & Urie’s senior stained-glass artist from 1863 until his death in 1882.

The central picture depicted in the window's design is a coastal artillery gun taken from the exact depiction of the Sir William Armstrong Rifled Muzzle Loading Fortress Gun.

Two of these historic old guns still exist in the park area along the Williamstown foreshore across the bay from Melbourne. The guns date from 1867 and were originally installed at Fort Gellibrand circa 1867.

It is not known whether the stained-glass window was ever actually created, and if so, what was its fate? Did it get destroyed or, like many historical artefacts, is it hidden away in an old garage or attic somewhere ready to be found again in years to come?

William Hornby (1821-1898) was tried and convicted at Lancaster, Liverpool, on the 25th July 1842 for housebreaking and was sentenced to ten years in Van Diemen’s Land for his crime. In 1848, the Convict Department granted him a ticket-of-leave and in July 1849 Lieutenant Governor, Sir William Thomas Dennison made recommendation for Hornby’s conditional pardon which wasn’t granted until October 1850.

By 1869 Hornby had partnered with another brewer named William John Disher and together they took over the existing brewing business of John Breheny who had established himself making “Artillery” beer in the former volunteer Artillery Drill Hall (near the Steam Packet Hotel) at Williamstown. This was originally Langhorne brothers' old wool store behind the Bayview and Customs House hotels and had been a penal stockade between 1853 and 1856, for prisoners working on the roads

‘Amongst the recognised institutions of Williamstown, one of the most popular is “Hornby’s beer.” We find it literally “in the mouths” of all classes of the community, and the establishment from which it emanates takes rank with the foremost of our local industries…’ Williamstown Chronicle, Saturday 20 March 1875, page 3.

William Hornby eventually sold out to Carlton Brewery, became ‘West End Brewery’ and was reduced steadily to being a storage only, then a private transport depot.

On the 28 January 1898, William Hornby died destitute at the Masonic Home in Prahran at the age of 77. However, the Hornby name lives on within Williamstown with Hornby Close, off Bath Place near Ferguson Street behind the Williamstown Library, paying tribute to the man.

That is the last instalment on the story of Ferguson & Urie and their legacy of stained-glass windows and connection with Hobsons Bay. It is by no means the entire story but provides an introduction to these entrepreneurs and to the artistic talents of their employees.

The company’s glass artistry can be found in many locations throughout the western suburbs including Werribee Mansion, St Michael’s Little River, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Bacchus Marsh, St Mary’s Anglican Church Sunbury, St Mary’s Anglican Church Bulla, Rupertswood Mansion, Sunbury and Presbyterian Church Melton.

Garden Gurus Tips

Small Space Gardening

Join My Smart Garden for this free session looking at the basics of growing food in a small space with Kat Lavers.

You'll learn how to plan and design a small space garden, how to utilise pots and containers and make your own self watering pot, and what plants to choose for small spaces.

Saturday 7 November, 10am to 12pm


New or Expanded Patch

Whether you are renting or living in your own house, this article from Milkwood is a great resource for an easy way to get a veggie patch up and running in eight weeks, or to expand your current patch. 

It's budget friendly too, there is no requirement for buying in soil or compost, and it contains ideas on how you can feed your garden and veggies for little or no cost. 


Festive Season Cooking

Kim's Fruit Mince Recipe  

Makes 4½ CUPS 


  • 1 cup raisins, chopped 
  • 1 cup sultanas 
  • 1/2 cup red glace cherries, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots 
  • 1 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/3 cup mixed peel (we say this is optional – our family doesn’t like mixed peel) 
  • 1/2 cup currants 
  • 1/2 cup pitted dried dates, chopped 
  • 1 cup orange marmalade (store bought or homemade) 
  • 1/2 cup brandy (or apple juice, if you don’t want to use the brandy) 
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice 


Step 1: Place raisins, sultanas, cherries, apricot, cranberries, mixed peel, currants, dates, marmalade, rum, creme de cacao, brown sugar and mixed spice in a bowl. Mix to combine. 

Step 2: Transfer to an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 1 week, (you can leave this for 6 months, it gets better as it ages) stirring occasionally, to allow flavours to develop. 

Homemade Mixed Peel 

Homemade Mixed Peel is so much more flavourful than supermarket bought. It isn’t as bitter and has a more fully rounded flavour that captures the essence of citrus season. Author: Georgina Hartley 


  • 4 oranges  
  • 4  lemons  
  • 1 grapefruit  
  • 2300 ml cold water 
  • 1350 g  sugar 


Day 1 

  • Cut the oranges, lemons and grapefruit into quarters then with very sharp knife remove the skin from the pith and the flesh. (Note: the flesh can be frozen to use in recipes or it can be added to whole fruit in marmalades – or it could be used for juicing) 
  • Cut the peel lengthways again. You might need to cut the lemon peel once, the orange peel twice more and the grapefruit peel three times more to get even sized pieces. Then cut widthways into short thin strips. 
  • Weigh the peel, you should have around 450g. 
  • Place the peel into a stainless steel saucepan with the cold water then bring to the boil. Turn the heat low and simmer for 1 hour. 
  • Remove from the heat and set a sieve over a large bowl. Pour the contents of the saucepan through the sieve, set aside the peel for one moment and weigh out the cooking water. 
  • Pour 1140ml of the cooking water back into the saucepan with 900g of the sugar. If you don’t have enough cooking water then just top up with tap water. Bring the sugar and water to a gentle boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Pour the sugar syrup over the peel, cover and leave the peel to soak for 24 hours. 

Day 2 

  • Strain the syrup into a large saucepan and return the peel to the bowl. 
  • Add the remaining 450g of sugar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for a couple of minutes making sure the sugar has completely dissolved. 
  • Pour the syrup back over the peel, cover and leave for another 24 hours. 

Day 3 

  • Pour the peel and syrup into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for 30 minutes. 
  • Pour everything back into the bowl, cover and leave the peel to soak for four final days. 

Day 7 

  • Drain the fruit, place on a fine wire rack and leave in a sterile dry place until no longer sticky, such as a turned-off oven. Although leave a note on the oven that it is not to be used. The mixed peel can take as long as seven days to completely dry. The best way to store the mixed peel afterwards is in sterilised glass jars and should keep for at least a couple of months. 

NOTE: If you like the taste of candied peel, this recipe is so worth doing. It will make quite a lot and it can be frozen – divide the mixed peel into smaller quantities, label the container and freeze – this way, it should be good for many months. 

Recipe from FROM THE LARDER 

Orange Marmalade Recipe

For use in Fruit Mince and to use as gifts 


  • 1.2 kg oranges, scrubbed, halved lengthways, thinly sliced crossways (using a mandolin slicer is good for this – if it can be done over the saucepan,  

  • 8 cups water 

  • 8 cups white sugar, approximately 

  • Makes approximately 2 litres 

Sterilise your jam jars by washing and draining (jars and lids) and putting your clean jars on to an oven tray (upside down) in a 100⁰C until dry. Keep them in the oven until ready to put the marmalade in (use oven gloves, jars will be hot). 


Step 1: Place orange and water in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to stand overnight. 

Step 2: Transfer to a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hr or until reduced by about one-third. 

Step 3: Cool slightly, then measure the mixture and add 1 cup of sugar per cup of fruit mixture. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Cook, skimming any dense froth from the surface with a large metal spoon, for 45 mins or until setting point is reached – that is when you put a small amount on a cold saucer and put it back in the freezer for 2 minutes, the marmalade should crinkle when you push it with your finger. If it is not ready, keep cooking the marmalade until that setting point is reached. 

Step 4: Spoon into warm sterilised jars. Seal and label – add a special label to the ones you are gifting. 

Stuff to Keep the Kids Busy

Escher Art Activity Book

Sharpen your pencils and escape into a world of perspective, illusion and fantasy.

The National Gallery of Victoria has put together an activity book containing lots of fun art activities and catering for young artists with various skill sets. Activities are suitable for a range of ages and will also interest teens.


Knox Arts Online Kids Events 

Knox Arts are running a series of free online events for kids during October.

Events will be live-streamed as a Facebook event each Wednesday at 4.30pm.  

Cartoon Drawing Activity
Using a simple and fun step-by-step approach, kids will learn basic cartooning techniques to draw cartoon faces and create their own unique characters.
Wednesday 7 October, 4.30pm
Eco-Glitter Art Activity
Join Chelsea from Knox Library to find out how glitter can be made from nature, then turn it into some beautiful art!
Wednesday 14 October

Hula Hoop Tricks!
Learn some fun, simple but flashy hula hoop tricks, with circus Hula Hooper Magdalena Whirly Bird!
Wednesday 21 October

Halloween Cookie Making for Halloween Week
Learn how to make Halloween Cookies with Chef Lillie Giang (The Food Affectionist).
Wednesday 28 October


Wellbeing & Selfcare

Care Packages

Hear from three teens on the struggles of 2020 and how they have practiced self-care. They'll share tips, tricks and pitfalls; talk about how they’re caring for friends, family members and community; and how they're maintaining hope for the future.

This online session from The Wheeler Centre is open to everyone, but particularly recommended for teenagers in Years 9 to 12.

Wednesday 21 October, 4.30pm-5.15pm


Wellbeing Victoria

This online series of wellbeing videos was produced by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and is available on the Victoria Together website.

There are exercise sessions, yoga, mindfulness and a seven day meditation series. All sessions can be done at home.


Support Services Hobsons Bay and Surrounding Suburbs

If you, or someone you know, has been impacted financially by the pandemic or is facing issues to do with housing or family violence, there is a list of organisations that can provide support on our website.


Hobsons Bay City Council is also providing a range of support for individuals and community groups experiencing financial hardship.


There is also a range of support available through Hobsons Bay Has Heart. See this flyer for details.


The Extreme Hardship Support Program is providing support to Victorians who:
  • are unable to access Commonwealth income support (including JobKeeper and JobSeeker) or the International Student Emergency Relief Fund
  • have very limited income, savings or community support.
  • and are a temporary or provisional visa holder, or undocumented migrant

Financial Counselling is a free service that can people assist in dealing with a range of financial issues including debts and fines, early release of superannuation, No Interest Loans, emergency relief and Utility Relief Grants. 


If you need support with something not covered in here, please get in touch with us and we can refer you to the appropriate service.
We acknowledge that we are on traditional lands of the Kulin Nation and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and, through them, to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Copyright © 2020 Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre, All rights reserved.

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