Just the other day at Arcare Helensvale St James, Pam and I had a lovely chat about her life, and it was a wonderful hour to reminisce on all the good memories that was filled with lots of laughter.
Pamela and her husband Ray moved into Arcare Helensvale St James just over three years ago. While Ray never really settled into the new routine, Pam accepted the fact that they needed assistance with their daily lives, and they got a place in St James much quicker than expected. “Having someone doing the cooking and cleaning is quite alright as well”, she thought.
A lovely tale that Pam remembers fondly happened some months before Ray passed away, on one of the bus outings to Sanctuary Cove for lunch at ‘Georges’. After everyone had ordered their drinks, bottles of Dom Perignon were suddenly placed on the table.
Much to everyone’s surprise and joy, they were told that a young man in the corner had wished to buy 20 bottles for them! Then to everyone’s amazement, they were told the bill had also been taken care of by the same young man in his 30’s.
He had recently been engaged and wanted to share some of his joy around. To receive such generosity was humbling for all who were there.
Not long after Pam was born in Sydney, the family moved to Berrima to start a new chapter of their lives. Being the youngest of 4 children, Pam was often teased for being the spoiled one. “Our family thrived in a lovely old brick and stone house, with big thick walls, it was nothing flash, but it was a wonderful home”, Pam said.
Pam’s Dad was wounded in WW1 and wasn’t too keen for the daily grind as Post Master, so her Mum eventually took over the role and held this for many, many years, so the family were very well known around town.
This was a big job for a woman with four children. Dad continued to potter with odd jobs and had the role of Justice of the Peace, which held quite a bit of responsibility.
After a little incident between a duster being thrown by a teacher, Pam decided she wasn’t going back to that primary school, so she was happily transferred to the primary school in Mossvale, a quick 7-8 mile bus trip away.
It was at high school in Bowral that Pam came into her own, shining in inter-school competitions in long distance running and a bit of high jump. A love for sports stayed with her, and she played tennis in summer and hockey in winter.
Visits to other towns for a weekend of tennis usually always meant excellent afternoon teas with wonderful jam sponges and delicious tea flavours.
During WW11, Pam’s two brothers joined the Airforce and fought in the Pacific. Towards the end of the war Pam’s sister, Betty joined the Airforce as well, holding the important role of Secretary to the Adjutant, and was based in Australia.
After her first job at a gift shop in Bowral, she did not expect to find love working in the local hospital.
With the help of a doctor, Pam and Ray went together to a hospital dance and love bloomed. In 1953, at the age of 22, Pam and Ray were married, and soon bought their first home in Bowral.
Here they started to raise Ray’s daughter, and soon the patter of little feet of their own 2 little girls were added to the happy family.
Early married life was very social, with three girls, Ray being a member of the Lions Club, and during their stay in Wollongong, Pam was the Commissioner for Girl Guides.
Life included quite a few moves to different towns for new ventures, moving from NSW to Qld, including Wooloongong, Coffs Harbour, Mittagong, then up to Ashmore, but everyone seemed to thrive on this.
Pam was an avid sewer, even taking on the very big task of making wedding dresses for her three girls. In her spare time, Pam has always loved to read and do crosswords.
While she has left the sewing days behind now, finishing her crosswords and reading her books are still a very important part of her day.
Pam is a glass-half-full-kind-of lady and even though she has been through some tough times, she remains bright and happy.
She is always keen to participate in many of the activities here at St James and takes pride in doing some of the readings on ANZAC day.
Pam is enjoying her days in a safe and caring environment and counting her blessings every day.