Herb and Marg Detez

After braving the wilds of Mt Dandenong on a stormy afternoon, Marie and I arrived at the Detez’ delightful home in the forested area of Kalorama.  Marg and Herb have lived here for 42 years and their love and pride in the place is very evident.  They moved to a bush block, shortly after the 1962 fires and slowly developed it into the beautiful spot it is today.  Not that they have it easy.  They are on tank water so long, dry summers are a problem. On top of that , they had to fence in the vege garden to keep out the ravaging deer and marauding rabbits.  They recently turned their hand to keeping bees, and after some early losses, the end of the drought saw a year of prolific eucalypt blossom and plenty of honey.

I don’t know how they find too much time for gardening as they lead such full and active lives.  Marg is an artist and, as well as painting lovely landscapes and watercolours, oils and acrylics, she makes delightful hand-made books.  She draws her inspiration for her painting mainly from her travels around Australia and overseas, and constantly sketches while travelling. She belongs to a group of like-minded artists called “Designing Women” who visit exhibitions searching for inspiration.  Marg’s bookbinding efforts produce a range of notebooks, address books and albums, among others.  If you are interested in her work, have a look at 

Marg shows her work at Cloudehill and Stonehouse from time to time.  She has done quite a bit of embroidery but the books are her main love at the moment.  She has a very impressive gallery of photographs, mainly from her travels.  One striking picture, taken in Iceland, showed the Earth’s tectonic plates in upheaval. Her innovative and experimental contributions to the Digital Photography group are a source of wonder and inspiration.

Both Marg and herb love to travel. They have travelled extensively and have recently been to the USA to visit National Parks.  Some of Marg’s photos from this adventure have been on display at Digital photography Group Birthday exhibitions.  They have also been to Europe and Canada as well as exploring a lot of Australia.  One memorable trip took them driving through the Centre, Darwin and Broome.  Herb now prefers to travel into the interior of his own country with his 4WD and trusty trailer.

Margaret, the daughter of a Baptist minister grew up in Croydon and has lived in many parts of Victoria, including Castlemaine.  She was a teacher/librarian for many years, teaching mainly in the Montrose and Kallista areas.  Herb, originally a Springvale lad, was a Primary School Principal for many years.  His schools include Upwey South, Coldstream and Manchester in Mooroolbark.  They retired in 1991, Marg six months ahead of Herb.

Herb has been a local member of the CFA since 1970.  He has been a fire-fighter as well as working in admin and, for a while, was a group Officer.  He is still continuing with his fire fighting activities but has retired from Group Officer duties.  When he speaks of his involvement, you can hear the enjoyment and dedication reflected in his voice.  He can remember clearly his involvement with the Ash Wednesday fires.  During the most recent conflagration, he was employed in blacking out.  He spoke of the continuous training, which is necessary in First Aid, skills maintenance and, especially, how to use the breathing apparatus.  He particularly enjoyed the Driving Skills course at Puckapunyal.  He really appreciates “picking up skills you can use somewhere else.”  He also likes the camaraderie afforded by the CFA and the opportunity to mix with like-minded people.

The Detez’s spend a lot of time with their family, three children and five grandchildren.  Herb is often doing things to help them out when he is not fishing, playing golf and enjoying the holiday house at Sandy Point. Herb describes time at the Point as “very enjoyable – if you can stand up against the wind.”