March 6th, 2022Just Molly and me – by Sandy Breen
IN THE lead-up to ChillOut, less than two weeks away, Daylesford local Sandy Breen reminisces about her lifelong friendship with music guru and 2022 ChillOut Ambassador, Ian (Molly) Meldrum.
“It has been written into St Kilda Football Club folklore that Ian Meldrum and I first met at the football in 1963 when he asked me if he could join my Cheer Squad. I say ‘Ian’ because he certainly wasn’t ‘Molly’ yet.
He was at Melbourne Uni doing law and I was at Elwood High in Year 11 – known as ‘leaving’ back then. The following year I started work in the Myer Emporium advertising department.
Ian had several friends who also worked at Myer including Ronnie Burns. Ian lived with Ronnie and his parents in Elwood for eight years. That’s another story for another day. Anyway, Ian quit the law and got himself a job in the Myer men’s store so he could be with us all.
He proposed to me at work in 1964. I told him I thought we were having way too much fun to get married. Marriage would have been hilarious…we probably would have been divorced in a year.
As it stands, this is our 60th year of friendship. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing but I have a lifetime of incredible memories. Without Molly in my life, I was always going to have an interesting one. Having him in it for six decades has sure put the icing on the cake.
I sometimes struggle to realise what an extraordinary person he is. After all, he’s just my friend. The words guru, icon, legend (he’s beyond legendary) are often used to describe him. I will never forget the outpouring of love and respect for him after the ladder fall in 2014. As he teetered between life and death, I was constantly updated. When I knew he wasn’t going to die, I used to say to people: “Can’t get rid of him that easily.”
My precious husband Donny (who passed away last year) and I actually moved to Daylesford during the ChillOut weekend in 2009. I kept asking: “What’s ChillOut?” I certainly found out in subsequent years.
I used to say to Ian that he should attend. I was thrilled to find out last year from ChillOut director Emma Ireland that she had persuaded him to be a ChillOut Ambassador for 2022. I was also very proud and humbled when she asked me to accompany Molly in the Sunday street parade and at Carnivale at Victoria Park to follow.
Seriously, 60 years ago, could we have possibly imagined being chauffeured together down the main street of Daylesford celebrating LGBTQI+ pride? I am honoured and I know Molly is too. After all, he is not only a music industry legend, but a gay icon too.”
Pictured, above, attending the St Kilda Football Club Best and Fairest Awards in 1991
Below, at Molly’s home in 2016 with a copy of his first book showing Sandy and ‘Ian’ at the St Kilda Ball in 1964