By Mitchell Clarke
It was the initiative that dished up smiles during lockdown, but now a decrepit looking Spoonville site in Pakenham is providing anything but joy.
During the one hour exercise limit – which is now a distant memory – Spoonville sites across Cardinia Shire were the most popular place to visit.
Despite the fad having died down entirely, the Cardinia Lakes community was understandably upset at news their local site appeared to have been targeted by cruel vandals.
Estate resident Laksika noticed the destroyed site during her daily walk on Sunday 24 January.
“I think someone has just walked over it or kicked them all over. It’s very sad to see it. We always used to stop there and have a look for new ones,” she wrote on Facebook.
The reaction from her neighbours was similar.
“Absolutely disgusting. The highlight of our walk is our toddler stopping to look and admire the spoons,” one local woman said.
“That’s so disappointing. My kids had spoons in there,” another woman added.
Pakenham Hills Ward councillor Jack Kowarzik said the news was “really frustrating”.
“Spoonville was created by locals for the enjoyment of local children and to see it vandalised is disappointing,” he said.
Cardinia Art Society president Jillian Ronald described Spoonville as an “amazing initiative” during Melbourne’s lengthy lockdown.
“It’s given joy and positivity in some very dark times and I just think it’s really disappointing that, when the community put together a project to support each other during a difficult time, that someone would take the trouble to destroy it. They’d be better off going home to create a spoon and putting it with the rest,” she said.
“I’d suggest there’s much better things they could do with their time.”
The ‘Spoonville’ trend was born out of Winnersh, England, in an attempt to improve mental health by simply making people happy as they were out and about during daily exercise.
The quirky saga soon made its way to Cardinia – after Australia’s first ever site was constructed up the highway in Longwarry.
Within weeks, the site had spread to Pakenham, Officer, Garfield, Nar Nar Goon, Emerald and Beaconsfield.
Ms Ronald acknowledged the Spoonville craze had now hit a dead end.
“They’re getting a little bit tired, so maybe it’s time for the spoons to come home,” she said.
Ms Ronald, who commissioned the two local sites at Lakeside in Pakenham, encouraged community members to collect their spoons from their local sites.
She added that in mid-February she’d look to clean up all remaining Spoonville’s and relocate any leftover spoons to an “undisclosed location”.