A simple idea, really. Gladys Berejiklian, friend of Chatswood Sunrise, previously Transport Minster and now transported to State Treasurer, is to visit the Club at its regular meeting since she is unable to come along to our official Changeover this year.
How to surprise her with a little gift? A GroTree? A train? Both been done. An abacus, we thought. Traditional, useful and also a work of art. Where better to look for such a one but in downtown Eastwood, a bustling centre of Asian shops? Filled with anticipation, The Selingers headed off
First one and then the other told us: “We used to have those in stock, but not now.” At the end of the Eastwood Centre is the Eastwood Homemaker Centre, a veritable Aladdin’s cave. The Central European-accented chap at the desk laughed delightedly on hearing our request. “You know, my boss, Angela Wu, had one of those and lost it somewhere in Woolworths. I managed to find it and I’ve put it on her desk. She’s over there,” pointing at the furniture section. “Perhaps she can tell you where she got hers from.”
Hearing her name from across the cluttered room, a smiling Angela approached and heard the whole tale. Yes, she did have an abacus, given to her recently by a friend. She rummaged in the plastic bag next to her desk and produced a dark wooden abacus with its brass-plated corners and traditional wooden beads strung along in two sections. The whole Gladys bit certainly appealed to her. “I would like to give this to you as a present for you to give to her,” she said. Wow!
We talked some more. Small world – she lives in Chatswood and her son is in Year 10 at Chatswood High! In fact, she had just been packing up to go home early to supervise the completion of some of his homework. Had she left just five minutes earlier this story would not have had such a happy ending.
...and now the new Treasurer (June 2017) is getting to use it to balance the State budget.