Moyston Community Dinner

In a picturesque location at the base of the Grampians, Moyston is a lovely town whose claim to fame is the birth place of Australian Rules football. I’ve only just discovered that back in the days of the Gold Rush, Moyston used to support seven churches and nearly as many pubs. But the last of those churches has only recently closed. These days, Moyston has a population of 500 with a lovely primary school, and great football club.

On the first Friday of every month, the town gathers at the sports pavilion for the Moyston Community Dinner. Everyone comes out to share a lovely meal, with people young and old and families too, sitting down to share the meal. I think it’s all a splendid idea! Everyone mingles over a drink before dinner and children run off together to play; table hopping seems the best way to catch up with everyone between dinner and dessert.

The event began as a fundraiser for the local school, but the catering and profits now rotate between different community groups. This month, it was organised by the Moyston Landcare group whose most recent activities include South African Orchid weed control. In addition to providing a fundraising opportunity, I love that the dinners provide a space to share what different groups have been up to. In his brief speech at the end of dinner, David Coad, the President of the Landcare group encouraged the community to let Landcare know if they “have a weed, rabbit or environmental issue.”

A very good looking pumpkin was up for grabs in the raffle that was raising funds for Solar Grampians to the Himalayas, a project that involves a local man installing a solar system for a school in Nepal. The pumpkin was my pick in the raffle prizes, but there were a few other beauties in there too. In my mind the classic contributions were a very good bottle of Riesling from Best’s winery in neighbouring Great Western; three dozen home-laid eggs; and a large bag of potting mix. Others may have been impressed by the liqueur chocolates, or a six pack of the crowd pleasing Carlton Draught beer.

The hand delivered invitations promised a German theme and featured a picture of a Black Forrest Gateau. I was keen for a piece of that cake, and interested in what was on offer for mains. Rosie Nater, and Madelene Townsend and their team of willing helpers did a wonderful job with the cooking. We were served us three traditional meat choices with a myriad of vegetables. There was kassler with sauerkraut; a sour beef in red wine and vinegar; and goulash. There were yeast dumplings and egg noodles as well as green beans, potato gratin, sweet purple cabbage and carrots. Dessert did indeed include Black Forrest Gateau, or you could choose apple strudel. Both were amazing.

The next Moyston Community Dinner will be hosted by the Moyston Primary School and will be held on Friday the 6th of June.

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About Susan

Susan is the ACT Convenor of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She is currently undertaking a PhD in International Relations. Susan continues to work on the Annual Civil Society Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security.
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