Originally from Ireland, Irene Baldwin made the solo move to Australia in 1970 at the tender age of 18. With no friends or family waiting for her here, she boarded a ship bound for Australia, unsure of what lay ahead.
‘I really wanted to go to Canada because that's where all my relatives are. But in those days, it cost 10 pounds to travel, and I was only earning 5 pounds per week, so I decided to go to Australia instead. But in the end, because I was under 21, the trip cost me nothing,’ Irene said.
The journey to Australia was eventful and one that Irene remembers vividly. ‘It was 5 weeks on a ship, the Fair Star, and I was seasick for two and half of those weeks. It was terrible,’ she said. Irene became friends with a few girls on the ship, and they ended up moving into an apartment together. In the most romantic and serendipitous of circumstances, one month after her big move, Irene met her husband. They married in 1971, and in 1977 spent 6 weeks abroad in England and Ireland, visiting their families.
After her husband passed away in 2009, Irene moved into Allora Gardens. Living at Allora Gardens gave Irene the opportunity to live the happy, productive and carefree lifestyle she so loves. She keeps herself busy with swimming, water aerobics, snooker and pool. As well as regular overseas travel and other activities.
‘We have a wonderful community spirit here in the village. I consider the community clubhouse as an extension of my own lounge room.’
The community spirit stood out to Irene from the moment she moved in. It was the most unique and appealing element of village life. The relationships between residents and staff offer great comfort and wonderful opportunities to create lasting friendships.
‘We have a wonderful community spirit here in the village. I consider the community clubhouse an extension of my own lounge room. I can go there at any time, and there is always someone there to have a coffee and a chat with. We have a great coffee machine there, and the clubhouse is always occupied by residents, so you're never really alone,’ Irene said.
Learn more about Allora Gardens, QLD.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
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