Today while sorting old magazines and newspapers, I picked up the Sentinel-Times, of April 16, 2013 some pages slipped out.
They turned out to be the ‘8 Page Guide’ to the ‘2013 Regional Victorian Living Expo’, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, during April, every year.
The cover page of this guide was an amazing full-colour, full page picture, advertising Inverloch with its idyllic lifestyle. This full page picture, (titled ‘Come and join us’ in very large print), showed “a Melbourne-based couple, with a holiday house at Inverloch where they stay ‘as often as possible’”.
The couple were pictured at the water’s edge on an Inverloch beach with their off-leash Border Collie, who was carrying a piece of driftwood, no doubt, hoping to play fetch.
The caption advised that the couple had taken their dog with them for “a walk and a swim”.
How very interesting that in the recent past, Inverloch is portrayed as a place where people can roam and swim freely on the beaches with their dogs, off-leash. The accompanying text reads “You can enjoy the best of both worlds at Inverloch”.
You could almost be tempted to think that the picture is inviting other dog owners to bring their dogs to play on the beach with them. And how very strange it is that Inverloch of all places should use an off-leash dog, on a beach, at the water’s edge, to portray its nature and essence.
There were no jet skis, no surf boards, no children with sand castles, in fact not any children at all, simply a happy off-leash dog!
Less than a year later Inverloch’s image is cracking and crumbling as smouldering eruptions of anger and hatred against dogs and their owners rise to the surface.
Has this anger and hatred always been there, just waiting for Councillor Crugnale’s official attempt to destroy this dog-friendly public image of Inverloch?
Is it possible that last year’s Living Expo portrayal was a complete fraud?
But what would be the sense in that – such a portrayal would be bound to attract more unwanted holiday makers with their dogs, seeking the good life.
This cover picture provides another answer to those letter writers who keep asking – who do these people think they are, ignoring the law, bringing their off-leash dogs, onto Inverloch beaches.
Perhaps those dog owners visited the Bass Coast Shire’s stand at the 2013 Expo, where they took the invitation to “come and join us”, seriously.
They believe they were invited and welcome!
The 2014 Regional Victorian Living Expo is currently underway in Melbourne.
I wonder what message Bass Coast Shire has decided to portray, this year, about Inverloch and the Shires’ beaches.
Lyn Whitlam, Glen Forbes
Editor’s note: The picture that featured on the ‘2013 Regional Victorian Living Expo’ was chosen by the editor as a representative picture of the freedom, space and enjoyable country and coastal lifestyle we all love.