Alfonso sweeps away the dust from our past

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Six years after arriving in Australia from Italy after a military career, Alfonso Folle is preparing to launch his book Frankston – Dust From Unmade Roads, a photographic journey into our past. He speaks with Kate Sears. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have always travelled by myself, just with my backpack and my camera discovering the world. I love photography and I’ve held a few photographic exhibitions in Melbourne.

 What is Frankston – Dust From Unmade Roads all about?
Frankston changed a lot since the first land sale in 1854 but the traces of the past are still there, and if we use our imagination we can still see the old post office where the Deck is, the Prince of Wales Hotel where the Cheeky Squire is, and we can also hear the noises coming from Cameron’s Blacksmith on Bay St. This book is not one of those books where the reader can read and imagine how things were in the past; the idea I had when I decided to create this book was to let people actually “see” how the past was. Personally, after the one year I spent working on this project, I see Frankston with different eyes and every time I walk around I think about how it was before.

What prompted you to create this book?
I wanted to create this book to give my contribution to the community by sharing this book and the knowledge about the past of Frankston. After these six years in Australia I wanted to leave something to say thank you to the country who welcomed me.

Tell us a bit more about the book launch at the Frankston Library.
I decided to do the presentation of my book at the library because it is the place where lots of young people go to study and I would like them to know about the story of their city because I think if you know the past you can understand the present and create a better future. I will also donate a few copies to the library so more people will be able to see it.

What do you love about Frankston?
I lived in Mordialloc for a few months. When I decided to move to Frankston I had many people telling me that was not a good idea because Frankston was not a good place to live. Honestly, I never had problems in Frankston. I love the people here; I like the way everyone helps each other. What I can say is that I lived here for the last six years and if I could go back in time I would do the same thing and move to Frankston.

Anything else to add?
Frankston is not just the place where I live, it is also the place where I met so many new people, where I adopted a stray cat and first of all is the place where I met a special person, a person that came to Australia like I did and that I wish I could share my life with. This book is dedicated to that person.

For more details about the book and its launch, visit alfonsofolle.com