How It Started

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The Memory Box Project has grown out of connections the Advanced Breast Cancer Group has made with other organisations and people, and their generosity to our service. Over the years we have received donations from a variety of people who are listed on the Donor’s Page (link here). After some thought about how to best use this money, we approached Bernard Houston, who composed the song for our group, to help us with a creative project for the women in the group.

Between us we have come up with the idea of The Memory Box project which started in December last year. It is open to all women in the group who wish to take part. We meet on the 3rd Wednesday of the month with Bernard, and talk about what women have written, and what memories they have been discovering. Bernard has bought and distributed small hand held recorders, to capture spoken memories or conversations, which he is then able to either make into a document or CD. Women also have been typing up stories and sending them directly to Bernard.

We decided that the type of box we would use was important. They have been made for the women in the group by the Bribie Woodies, a woodworking group on Bribie Island. They are beautifully made, jointed and varnished silky oak. Each woman in the group has been given one of these boxes to keep, to use in whatever way she wishes.

Bernard’s father has illustrated some of the stories in black and white pencil. (see Memory Box page)

The aim of this project initially was not proscribed, as we thought it would develop as time went along. It has become an opportunity for those involved to re-discover and re-claim for themselves some of their own memories from childhood, to share these with others in the group, and to leave memories for their families. It has also become a way of connecting with others in the community who are willing to offer their skills to enhance the project. We are yet to see what shape it takes as it grows, and how it will look once it is complete.