Would you like a hedgehog?

On the north-west coast of Tasmania, there’s a look out called ‘The Edge of the World’. If you look closely, you’ll find a small plaque.  It bears the words of Tasmanian tourism pioneer, Brian Inder. 

I cast my pebble onto the shore of Eternity.
To be washed by the Ocean of time.
It has shape, form, and substance.
It is me.
One day I will be no more.
But my pebble will remain here.
On the shore of eternity.
Mute witness from the aeons.
That today I came and stood
At the edge of the world.

The Edge of the World is one of many striking and unusual place names around Australia. Never Never; Woop Woop; Banana; Devils Kitchen; and even Came By Chance. To name but a few. 

There’s also a Matt’s Place. Where you’re most likely to be greeted by the surprising refrain, “Would you like a hedgehog?”

Matt’s Place

Matt’s Place runs a community meals program in Cheltenham and Chelsea.  You may think it’s just a church hall.  But you’d be wrong!  It’s where disadvantaged people facing hard times can get a two-course meal; in surroundings conducive to social connection.  It’s fair to say, the atmosphere is usually symbolised by local school children providing a wait service for guests dining on spotless white tablecloths.  It’s also a place where guests can get a free pedicure, manicure and haircut! 

Normally, Matt’s Place would be buzzing with conversation but, as a result of the physical distancing restrictions, Matt’s Place has switched to providing food parcels; typically comprising sandwiches, fruit and the aforementioned hedgehogs. 

Most of the people who collect a twice-weekly food parcel won’t realise that Rotary is one of a number of the Matt’s Place supporters.  You won’t find a Rotary sticker on the food parcels or any other sticker, for that matter.  It’s hardly in tune with the usual amiable social atmosphere of Matt’s Place and, as Beaumaris Rotary Club Member, Chris D’Arcy, says, “We treat people with respect.”

“If you’re at Matt’s Place and you’re asked whether you want a hedgehog? It’s because anyone would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a guest and a volunteer.” 

“We’ve been involved with Matt’s Place for about three years”, says Chris.  “Matt’s Place is about 900 metres from our regular Rotary venue. It makes us pretty grateful for our own circumstances.”  

Matt’s Place may be a far cry from the small plaque found at The Edge of the World.  But maybe it too deserves its own poem?  With reference to a hedgehog slice?  It certainly already has a great name!  Matt’s Place! 

If you would like to learn more about Matt’s Place? Or learn how you can help? Please get in touch with Megan glenwrightmegan@gmail.com Tel 0418 578 114

Megan’s our Membership Director. The title probably sounds a little formal but trust us, she’s the friendliest person you’ll ever meet!