Latest display impresses

December 05, 2017

Moyola's 'everything man' Russ O'Halloran put in a special installation for the occasion.

Russ O'Halloran's footy display he created for AFL Grand Final Week this year.

Vintage: Russ O'Halloran and Moyola Lodge resident Leo Carrafa check out an wooden crank phone in front of the phone exhibition.

This week Moyola Lodge residents and staff were buzzing with chatter about Russ O’Halloran’s latest exhibition of telephones from the turn of the century to present day.

Self-confessed vintage item collector Mr O’Halloran, who does maintenance work at the lodge, has transformed an old water feature in the lodge’s main hallway into exhibition space for his impressive collections.

Moyola spokesperson Marli Kelly said the display had been a big talking point among residents because the theme resonated with them.

‘‘Everyone has had a telephone and it’s amazing to see all the different eras of phones,’’ Ms Kelly said.

Mr O’Halloran said he had learned more about the items from the residents.

‘‘They were using communication terminology, such as ‘party line’, which I had not heard before,’’ he said.

‘‘Turns out group chat has been around for a long time.’’

The display took several hours and some of the features of it are the World War II field phone from Europe that was stored in a home’s attic for more than 60 years, a rotary dial phone, bakelite, early Nokias and even Mr O’Halloran’s first ever phone he owned.

‘‘My dad worked for a telecommunications company and I learned to appreciate the older phone models and collected a bunch of them during the years,’’ he said.

‘‘I can’t pinpoint the oldest phone I have as there are many different brands, but I think it is around the late 1800s early 1900s.

‘‘I started collecting as a kid, only small things; as I got older I’ve collected bigger and bigger stuff to the point where I can fill a shed plus some.’’

Mr O’Halloran estimates he has enough vintage and retro items to fill an 80-sq-m space, so there are plenty of ideas for future displays at Moyola Lodge.

He has already done displays for the AFL Grand Final Week that featured VFL guernseys and a horse racing one for the Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day.

‘‘It gets the residents reminiscing and the vintage memorabilia is always appreciated; it also helps Mr O’Halloran develop a relationship with the residents,’’ Ms Kelly said.

Mr O’Halloran changes the displays every six weeks, but will take a break for Christmas with the residents’ craft decorations set to take over the space.

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