Our History in the Making!


As we made the difficult decisions to close our aged care homes to visitors last week, 87 year-old Joan Morris from Bupa Bellarine Lakes shared this letter with us – a great reminder to appreciate the good times and make the most of every day.


by Joan Morris (Woolstores).

After saying goodbye to my daughter (with not even a hug or kiss) after her limited time visit because of the global virus disease that has affected us all, I started to appreciate more than ever the freedom we had just taken for granted in our country for as long as I could imagine.

I remember leaving Colac High School and starting in the workforce at sixteen years of age, Secretarial (shorthand typing and book-keeping was my calling). I can’t recall any interruptions to business other than the odd train or tram strike.

I got married in 1956. After having two babies, I worked part-time, taking the girls to school at 8am on my way to work and picking them up at 3.30pm on my way home. This worked well. My husband (Alan) was in Engineering – he built the home we lived in for fifty years after we married. The home still stands stately in Mitcham (a suburb of Melbourne).

Alan started a business (Entire Fire Protection – an engineering company). Alan retired 27 years ago and it is still running successfully. During our 63 years of marriage we have brought up two lovely daughters and have six grandchildren with close family ties.

Being free to have holidays wherever we wanted to go within Australia or overseas. We were lucky to have one overseas trip financed by his business – one month, including Germany and other parts of Europe and also England, Scotland and Wales. We also travelled through New Zealand and most of Australia. We loved the outback and up the top of the Cape.

Freedom allowed us to do all that and of course the events we saw in this time like:

  1. Armstrong walking on the moon 
  2. Polly Farmer’s last game – a grand final against Richmond, Polly cramped in the last quarter and we lost. The tigers won by about ten points. Polly Farmer was a marvellous player for Geelong.
  3. Gary Ablett senior. I was living in Melbourne when he was playing. If Geelong had a home match when he was in the team, I would drive to Geelong, meet my daughter and we would go to all the home games. I think he was the best AFL footballer of all time.
  4. I saw the Harlem Globetrotters play basketball at Kooyong Tennis Club -entertaining to music – excellent!
  5. Winifred Atwell (piano) at the Tivoli Theatre.
  6. Liza Minelli at Rod Laver Arena – marvellous concert – she had seven curtain-calls at the end of the show, then came out with her toilet bag and a towel, removed her eye lashes and dropped them on the piano and said: “I’m sorry I’m spent! Thank you all!” People were still clapping until she left the building! Alan was wrapped to see the show because Judy Garland was one of his favourites! June Alison was his other.

Let’s hope we can rid the world of this ghastly virus which has affected the whole world and hopefully we can get back to the country we’ve always known and look after what we have.