ABOUT CHRISTMAS LIGHTS WONDERLAND
Interview notes with Ron Tebby, supplied to John Hisco for the 2007 Edition Christmas Bright Book.
When did you start decorating your home and what got you into this?
Seven years ago around December 2000, after visiting many displays around Adelaide with my wife Jude, on a warm, balmy and still night, I sat at the top of our neighbours elevated driveway overlooking our place and realized that our characteristic home could be transformed into a wonderland of Christmas Lights that I had not seen during our visits to other peoples homes. It was there when I formulated a vision of how I wanted the display to look and become my Christmas Lights Wonderland.
What gives you the greatest satisfaction?
The realization that you have achieved a Wonderland of Christmas Lights, that brings Christmas back to the families and has resulted in smiling faces, expressions of joy and good will, while maintaining the Christmas spirit.
Who designs and/ or erects the displays?
The creativity, design and erection of all of the displays is generally conducted by myself with a little help from family and neighbours who assist in the placement of some of the high and difficult locations. (Eg trees)
How long does it take to dismantle your display?
Dismantling the display generally takes about the same amount of time as setting up. This is due to each display being cleaned of dirt and spider webs before being carefully placed into the numbered box or bag for the next year. I have found that this procedure gives longer life to the displays, which after all are expensive to purchase.
How often do you upgrade/ add to your displays?
The upgrade/adding of lights has been a slow progression over the last seven years, as I have slowly edged towards my vision, which is almost complete. Some additions will be required due to faulty and/or damaged items.
What do your neighbours think?
We are very fortunate that there are no neighbours directly adjacent to our house. This has allowed me to take advantage of the dark aspect surrounding our house in order to maximise the effectiveness of the display. The two neighbours across the road from us are both delighted and envious of the spectacular effect our display creates for them and don’t mind the masses of pedestrians and constant traffic that invades our street this time of the year. I would like to make special mention of Mrs Mary Guirguis, who lives opposite our place at 4 The Lane, for her continued kindness and thoughtfulness in allowing the thousands of visitors who are able to view and photograph our display from her elevated driveway.
What do you plan to do in the future?
When I started this project seven years ago my intention was always to try and bring back Christmas to the families and to create a feeling of peace with the Christmas spirit in the displays. In doing so, I had planned for any electrical addition intake and therefore the upgrade from single phase to three phase, was essential and just a matter of time in order to sustain a Wonderland of Christmas Lights, which I intend to provide for the community, as long as the interest will be there.
Some alterations may be necessary to the display in the future, but basically the theme that I have created will remain the same, which is what the visiting public has aspired too.
How do you feel about it all?
Providing a Wonderland of Christmas Lights, which is appreciated by the community, has brought about an incredible feeling of achievement and satisfaction for the family and me. The success of our display has resonated around South Australia and particularly O’Halloran Hill. When so many people hear about and travel long distances just to see and experience our wonderland of lights, one feels very humble and proud that your creation can give so much pleasure, the feeling of peace and tranquillity and maintaining the true value and spirit of Christmas.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved for their continued support in helping us to keep the Christmas spirit alive.
What does this mean to you?
This meant that I could create a wonderland of peace and tranquillity by bringing Christmas back to the families with a creative and distinctly different Christmas Lights display that would be comprehensive and breathtaking, yet simplistic and artistic in it’s presentation.
Does the whole family share this - what do they think of it?
My wife Jude offers moral support and helps with handling some of the longer light sets that need to be positioned in high and difficult locations. Generally I perform all of the tasks myself ensuring that all of the testing and placement is done correctly.
How do you feel about what you’ve achieved and where can you go with your displays?
After seven years and particularly the last three years, I feel very humbled and honoured, that our display has reached and attracted so many thousands of visitors, both young and old, who share my mission of trying to not only bring back Christmas to the families, but to also ensure and realise the true meaning of Christmas. The vision of how I wanted the display to look, seven years ago and the detailed preparation of electrical cabling, power boards and transformer layouts, would restrict any major alteration to how the display could be changed. Also, the realization of the comments that I receive from the general public, is that they are enchanted and “blown away” by our Wonderland of Christmas Lights and quite frankly don’t want to see it changed. After all, the display is for the community and I feel that one should listen to the positive majority of the comments expressed by them.