Jean shares her living, community and care moments with Angelia Dixon, CEO at Andrew Kerr Care.
1. Where did you grow up Jean?
I grew up in a one-horse town called Natimuk* where everyone knew everyone.
My whole family learned to barn dance together, as it was a very community-based country town and all families would go barn dancing.
2. What was the most memorable event in your life so far and why?
I was married to my husband for 65 years and sadly he passed 12 years ago.
We met on a tram when I was 16 and he wrote me a letter asking me out on a date. Because of my age, my mother almost didn’t let me go! Lucky I did go on that date to see the Great Waltz at the metro theatre because we were together from that day forward, going on to have 6 children together.
3. What was your first job?
Working at the local bank.
4. Do you have a favourite song?
I love all music and not just the latest hits.
5. Why is community important?
I have many visitors and friends, although of course, I miss my friends who have passed away. I believe the community is still as important as when my kids were growing up. Their friends were made by socialising with other families in their town. They made a wide range of friends from different countries from around the world.
I used to bake a cake every day for my children and any visitors. Later on, I started making two cakes day – one for the kids and one to give to the Italian workers in the vineyard close to our home. Chocolate cake is my favourite because that was my kids favourite growing up, but I don’t much care for sweet things actually.
6. What do you like about living at Andrew Kerr Care?
I love my beautiful and lightroom, with the sun streaming in the morning. I also like the cleanliness and friendliness of Andrew Kerr.
I moved in when I had just turned 90 years old as my son said I was too old to be living on my own! However, it took me 6 years from my initial site visit to actually move in. It wasn’t until I had a bad fall, injuring both of my legs, that I decided for myself that it was time to stop living alone.
I really wish I was still able to do sewing, as I used to make all my own clothes and all my daughters’ clothes including their wedding dresses.
* Natimuk is a town in Western Victoria, Australia. It is located about 300 kilometres northwest of Melbourne.