Stars of Christmas
Saturday, 22nd December, 2018
By Michael Murphy
One Christmas lights display that has shone as bright as the star of Bethlehem for almost 40 years belongs to the Everett family.
Keith and Judy Everett, of Dundas Avenue, put up their first display in 1980 when their first grand-daughter was born.
“We were not real flush in those days, and we started off doing three or four strings of lights,” Keith said.
“And each year it grew and I kept saying ‘well, that’s it, I’m not doing any more’ but then it grew and grew, and I ended up doing a lot of cut-outs.”
Keith painted them and placed them all over the front lawn.
There were six white Boomers, Father Christmas in a sleigh being pulled by reindeers, a nativity scene and lots of elves.
He also made a Father Christmas in a chimney on the roof.
“One of the ones I did was the three wise men, and after putting them out for about five years they started to fade being in the sun and everything,” Keith said.
He was working with City Council’s disability services at the time, working with clients at the woodwork shop at the hospital.
“So I asked Ron Hammond who was running the show up there would it be alright if I took a couple up there to get them to paint because we were running out of things to do,” Keith said.
“He said ‘yes’, so I took three of them up there, three different cut outs.”
When he bought them home three weeks later he didn’t take much notice of them until he pulled them out for Christmas.
“When I put them on the lawn, I got the three wise men out, and they had sneakers on.
“They painted sneakers instead of sandals.”
Keith and Judy, who are celebrating 60 years of marriage next year, are traditionalists when its comes the Christmas.
They have three children, eight grandchildren and seven great, grandchildren, all of whom will be at Everett’s Dundas Avenue home for Christmas.
“Many of the parents in their 30s and 40s would possibly remember their parents driving them around to view the Christmas lights displays,” Keith said.
“They may also remember the traffic jams in Dundas Avenue in the late 90s and early 2000s.
“The traffic was so dense that many people had to park up to two blocks away and walk down the avenue to see the lights.
“Even our son and daughter-in-law who travelled home from Adelaide each year on many occasions had to park blocks away then go to retrieve their car when the traffic thinned out.”
It was even suggested at on stage that Dundas Avenue be made one way to ease the congestion.
For several years on Sunday evenings at No. 10 the public were treated to not only the great light and cut-out display, but also members of the Silver City Line Dancers strutting their stuff in the driveway.
As the years rolled on the displays became bigger and better, which Keith says, unfortunately caused the demise of many of the smaller displays because parents started taking their children to see the biggest ones.
Keith and Judy said they will continue decorating their house and garden for as long as they can because they love to hear and see the delight on the faces of the young, and not so young, when they see the decorations.
Besides, they still have small great grandchildren running around.
Judy had some advice for young couples thinking of putting up a Christmas light display.
“Go for it.”