By Luke Voogt
Norlane locals will dress in their fanciest op shop frocks this month to search for more community uses for a recently freed-up building.
Corio-Norlane Uniting Church began using “two-thirds” of its recently-vacated Dorothy Thomson Centre for an op shop last year, its reverend Peter Jewell said.
“We’re still interested in exploring other uses for the centre. We’re trying to get the involvement of as many community groups as possible.”
The church will hold its Norlane Neighbourhood Gathering on 25 May, after about 40 people attended last year’s debut event.
“I think a lot of people who came heard about it through word of mouth,” Peter said.
This year’s event features an all-new op shop fashion parade and a BBQ, face-painting, live music and other activities, all included in a gold coin entry donation.
“We’re also encouraging people to bring a plate and share if they wish,” Peter said.
The newly-formed Geelong Community Big Band will play live, while northern Geelong musicians Robert Blair, Ian Burrowes and Haziel Rodil are set to perform solo.
Like proceeds from the op shop, any funds raised would go towards Uniting’s food and housing relief efforts in northern Geelong, Peter said.
The church began trialling the op shop last year and it appeared likely to stay, he said.
“We also currently host Anam Cara for a support group for people in the northern suburbs.”
Barwon Health had previously leased the building for almost 40 years, until last November 2017, as an elderly activities area.