Container Gets a Facelift

The 2014 restored container, Campion College Volunteers and Klibur Domin Staff
The 2014 restored container, Campion College Volunteers and Klibur Domin Staff

When Klibur Domin was established in September 2000 a container, funded by a generous member of the Lions Club of Nunawading, was sent across full of building materials for a Rotary team to effect repairs to the buildings; and furniture and equipment for the first contingent of volunteers set up the new home.

The container arrived the day before the Rotary team and was transported to Klibur Domin on the back of a small tilt tray truck. The trailer was tilted backwards and the container slid off. Miraculously, not one item in the container was broken, including over two tonnes of glass to replace the broken windows.

A year later, a group of enthusiastic volunteers, Dianne McGrath, Wendy Smyrk and Mark Chapman, set about painting a colourful crocodile mural. The crocodile is the mythological grandfather and national emblem of Timor- Leste.

The container was subsequently fitted with an iron roof and internal shelving, to function as a storeroom. Some years on, it was relocated to a remote part of the complex and it fell into disrepair.

In 2013 an RCA volunteer, Siobhan Reeves, found the neglected container with its deteriorating mural. The administration office needed secure storage for documentation and Siobhan hoped that the container could be relocated, renovated and used for that purpose.

The opportunity came in 2014, when a small group of stu- dents from Campion College volunteered at KD for two weeks in July. Siobhan and her brother Liam were there in advance of the group. Liam organised the challenging but successful relocation of the container, avoiding power lines and fragile water pipes, into position alongside the main administration building.

Restoration was next – there were many holes in the roof, and unexpected torrential rain (in the middle of the dry season!) caused some havoc. Students were soaked try- ing to place plastic sheeting over the container at midnight, and later Liam undertook the difficult and noisy task of cut- ting a window in the container for ventilation.

Students Tobias, Anna and Cara all worked hard to seal the roof, put mesh and security bars in the window and reseal and repaint the exterior before they completely re- stored the original mural.

Finally secure, the group moved in shelves and a table, purchased plastic boxes for storage, and removed several geckos and one very cranky lizard! At Joaquim’s request, the updated RCA logo and the names of the original paint- ers of the container were included on the painting. The KD staff are very happy with the outcome, and it is wonderful that an important part of KD’s history has been restored.