Nance’s Story

At 98, Nance has some wonderful stories to tell. Growing up in Sydney’s St Leonards, as a child she used to race outside at 8am every day to see the Brisbane Mail Plane fly past. She also witnessed the first electric train on the North Shore Line at St Leonards, causing much excitement in a world where steam trains were the norm. Nance could hear the steam trains of a night, and a couple of years ago revisited this form of transport, taking a ride on a stream train once again.

Memories of the “Lavvy Man” who would come with his truck to clear out waste, the iceman delivering a block of ice to keep food chilled, the “Rabbitoh” who sold fresh rabbits, the “Prop” man who sold props to hold up washing lines, are all fresh in Nance’s head, from a time that was so different from today. Money was left on the doorstep along with bread tins for the baker to deposit bread into, and a billy can for the milkman to fill. There were few cars then and the milkman and baker delivered via horse and cart.

Nance also recalls visiting the Airport at Mascott before WWII, where there were only 2 hangars and limited planes. This changed once the war began, and the airport grew significantly.

When Nance met and married her husband, they moved to Cremorne, where if you leant over the balcony, you could see Fort Dennison. Moving to Eastwood a little later, they lived in this suburb where chicken farms were the norm, and there was no sewer or sealed roads.

Nance, who has now called the Central Coast home for 30 years, played tennis regularly and swam in the ocean every day until she was in her 80’s. Doing her housework to Opera such as Lo Boheme and Madame Butterfly, Nance has a love for music and finds that it gives her great joy. Nance also loves historical TV shows and has a DVD collection that includes Downtown Abbey and Young Victoria.

Nance makes the most of everything and tries to remain as independent as she can, catching the public bus to the local shopping centre regularly to do a bit of supermarket shopping. She also has a weekly catch up with friends there, and visits to the local club for lunch every fortnight are also on Nance’s social agenda.

Nance goes out nearly every day and is quite happy with what she’s doing. Socialising is important to her, and this is one of the reasons that she’s attended our Community Restaurant at Bateau Bay for 15 years, the second longest attendee there. The Community Transport bus picks her up every week, and Nance says she is very well looked after at Community Restaurant and appreciates that she’s given a choice of which beautiful meal to have for lunch.

Our Community Restaurants provide an important social outlet for many of our clients, and we are grateful that we form part of Nance’s very busy social schedule.  It was wonderful to chat with Nance, who continues to inspire us with her grateful and positive attitude.

More information about our Community Restaurants can be found here.


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