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Bringing her art home

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New resident Mae is settling into life at St Augustine’s Aged Care Home in Coffs Harbour. She has a large room furnished with some of her own pieces and a selection of her favourite paintings, a hobby she took up when she was in her 60’s.

Now 85 years old, Mae has lived a full life of family, travel and pursuing her passions.

“I was born in my home in a little township called Willow Tree, just south of Quirindi on the Liverpool Plains of NSW,” says Mae.

“In those days the population of Willow Tree was only about 90. Everyone knew everybody. I was the sixth of seven children, now it’s only my younger sister and me.

“My Dad was a farmhand and used to drive cattle. When he came home he also worked as a farrier and a barber… the local men would come to our home to get new shoes for their horses, plus a haircut and shave.”

Mae went to school in Quirindi and left when she was 15 to start a job in administration at the local Willow Tree grocery store. She met her husband Peter and they married in 1953. Two children quickly followed and once they started school, Mae was back working in the community in a variety of roles.

“I was always the one people called when they were short on staff. I think I worked in every job possible in Quirindi!”

Sadly, Peter passed away quite suddenly when he was 65 years old.

“After some time my dear friend Barbara called me and we started travelling together. We went on many cruises and visited Europe, Japan, New Zealand, South East Asia and Canada. We travelled all around Australia. It was a great time.”

Mae married a second time to Martin and while married to him she picked up a brush and started painting landscapes.

“Martin bought me paints and brushes and I started with no tuition or training. I enjoyed painting Australian scenes and landscapes. Now most of my family and friends have my paintings but I brought some of my favourites to St Augustine’s.

“I came here on respite and decided to stay. I have settled in very quickly. I have a beautiful room and there are plenty of activities. Barb comes and visits and we play scrabble together. It’s a nice community and I have made new friends.”

To find out more about St Augustine’s visit or call (02) 5612 3400.

Pictured is Mae with a favourite painting proudly hanging in her room