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It has been an amazing semester; I’ve had the pleasure of
working with the wonderful Griffith University interns
Madison...
www.celebratelivinghistory.com Issue 5: 2016
2
Integer metus.
Lorem.
1
Stella Wilkie was born on December 6, 1915
making h...
Celebrate Living History Issue 5: 2016
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Eventually she became quite wealthy and started looking for
a property to buy. Sh...
www.celebratelivinghistory.com Issue 5: 2016
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Continued from page 1
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Finland, Sweden and Japan about their love for not ...
Celebrate Living History Issue 5: 2016
5
3
international level and most of all be
heard and respected by those in an
indus...
Happy Stuff
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Semester 1: 2016 Celebrate Living History newsletter

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Find out whats happening at Celebrate Living History a program focussed on connecting generations through storytelling.

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Semester 1: 2016 Celebrate Living History newsletter

  1. 1. 1 It has been an amazing semester; I’ve had the pleasure of working with the wonderful Griffith University interns Madison, Kate and Margaret who have gone above and beyond to capture stories of seniors in the community. I am always so happy that the Celebrate Living History program has the ability to connect generations transcending over culture, age and stereotypes. In saying this, I have been working on the Winston Churchill fellowship over the past few months. And it has been amazing to connect with folks who are as passionate about connecting generations as I am. I connected with folks from the United States, United Kingdom, 4Follow our Mascot Ava to Page Lorem Ipsum Connecting young people and seniors to document stories for future generations 1 Selfie Time with Interns Kate and Madison Semester 1: 2016 Inside Words from Bev the founder of Celebrate Living History Words from Bev Wilkinson Stella Wilkie- 100 Years and Counting Adventures of Kate and Madison Rotary Club of Somerville Tyabb Happy Stuff 2
  2. 2. www.celebratelivinghistory.com Issue 5: 2016 2 Integer metus. Lorem. 1 Stella Wilkie was born on December 6, 1915 making her the grand age of 100, and only half way to 101. Having never met someone of Stella’s age, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I went for a visit at her nursing home in Murwillumbah. When I arrived the nurse and I went looking for Stella in her room, but it was empty. She wasn’t sitting inside watching television with the other residents, instead we found her outside enjoying the sun by herself. I asked her about the letter of congratulations she’d received from the Queen for her 100th birthday. She was quick to her feet ready to take me to her room to show me the letter she was so proud of. Within the first minute of conversation it was clear her mind was as sharp as ever and she was most definitely the boss. “I’m the boss when I’m around, but you have to learn that. You can’t be bossy ‘til you’ve grown up. You’ve got to be sensible and have common sense. If you’re not sure, go to a person that is sensible and knowledgeable.” If I was ever unsure about anything I’m sure Stella would have a few wise words to say about it. Stella Wilkie- 100 years and counting By Kate Grant 2 Evidently her smarts and directness have served her well in the past century, taking her from humble beginnings in New Zealand to travelling the world. She was born in Christchurch into a working class family with a brother and two sisters. In those days the amount of wealth your family had determined your social standing and ultimately your intelligence. “If your people had a little bit of money it meant that the kids were smart, but if you were just working people like me you were dumb. But it was the boot on the other foot because the people that had to work, well they learnt something but the others thought that they didn’t need to learn anything.” At sixteen Stella had a job working at the local YMCA for sixteen shillings a week, the equivalent today would be about $30 Australian. She was not content living off this amount and although her employers thought she was a bit dull, Stella had a bright idea. The only thing there was never going to be anymore of was land. She had no interest in going out to any of those ‘posh places’, any bit of money she earned was saved. Story continues Page 3.
  3. 3. Celebrate Living History Issue 5: 2016 3 Eventually she became quite wealthy and started looking for a property to buy. She came across a wonderful property owned by a chap who must’ve been quite mad and had gone bankrupt. Instead of buying the property for the $350,000 she initially offered him, she learnt that all she needed to pay was the amount he owed. Having made a decent profit on this property, she decided to use the same tactic when seeking out additional properties to purchase. “I started to think I was not so dumb. Starting off poor I got the idea that, you know, you didn’t go silly with money.” Having become a success in New Zealand, Stella decided she’d travel the world. There’s not many places she hasn’t been in her life, the list includes but is not limited to Greece, Spain, Russia, Germany, and Italy. She always travelled by ship, never by plane and always first class. She was particularly fond of Greece and visited many times. She recalls some friends she met there, including a Greek boy who said to her, ‘Oh your father must’ve been the baker he made a very good cake!’ to which she replied, ‘Well you’re not even getting bread crumbs!’ Despite her wealth, she’d opt to stay in small bed and breakfasts for a month at a time when she travelled. Not only did this help out the poorer families in the region, but she was able to learn about their way of life. When the family’s kids were sensible enough she sent them off to New Zealand to broaden their education. Stella has always been headstrong even as a child. “I remember my mother said to me, ‘I’ve never known a kid that answered back the way you do,’ and I remember saying ‘I’m not answering back, I’m just telling you!’” These days you wouldn’t expect anything less of her. When she learned I would be travelling to Europe at the end of the year she had some sound advice which was to “use your common sense, and keep your legs closed!” In her 100 years of worldly adventures and business success, what Stella values the most is telling the truth, good or bad. Being such a straight shooter has earnt her the respect of her peers across the globe. It was a great pleasure being able to talk with Stella, she certainly makes an impression on you. A sign of a great person is to be remembered and I think a lot of people will remember Stella. Though don’t think for a second that she’ll be leaving us anytime soon, with the strength that woman has I bet she’ll outlive us all. Our Griffith University interns worked together to cover the Tweed Heads Bowls Club Commemorative Shield Match in May. The match involves the two clubs sitting just either side of the Queensland and New South Wales border. They have been having this match every year since the Tweed Heads/Coolangatta bowls club split to form the Tweed Heads Bowls Club in 1948. Although this is a friendly match there is definitely some rivalry in the air. Adventures of Kate and Madison
  4. 4. www.celebratelivinghistory.com Issue 5: 2016 4 Continued from page 1 2 Finland, Sweden and Japan about their love for not only connecting generations but also breaking stereotypes about age. I enjoyed that even though we are on other sides of the world that we bonded over our love of making a senior feel valued and most of all important in society. Sometimes all we see is an “old person” and never really delve into who that person is. Once you start chatting to a senior, barriers break down and you start to really see the person inside. That is where my heart is and where it will always be. Even though I did not get through to the interview round of the Winston Churchill fellowship. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with others who are as passionate about connecting generations as I am. I realized even though I received a No from the Churchill folks that I am the master of where I go in life. While it would be nice to have the support of a major fellowship, I’ve always opened my own doors. I ‘ve always believed in saying Yes to myself. It has been this way since 2012; if I had listened to all the negativity then all that I’ve created now would cease to exist. Back then I struggled to use my degree and I was really passionate about being able to use my education. All I needed was a door to open. So I created the Celebrate Living History program, which gave me the opportunity to help mentor and lead many wonderful university and high school students to connect with seniors and their stories. This was my chance to not only engage with students, but really discover what I was passionate about. So in 2016 I’m going to say Yes to my dreams. One of my goals is to speak at the 2017 Global Intergenerational Conference in Milwaukee and to meet some of the folks I’ve connected with over the past few months. I believe I can still make my dreams a reality. I may not be flying first class, I may be staying backpackers. But I believe it can be done, I will speak on an Our founder Bev was invited to speak about her passion for connecting young people with seniors at the Rotary Club of Somerville Tyabb. It was a delight to mingle with the community minded folks of the Mornington Peninsula. Meeting the folks at Rotary Club of Somerville Tyabb
  5. 5. Celebrate Living History Issue 5: 2016 5 3 international level and most of all be heard and respected by those in an industry that I have learnt to admire. So I’m saying don’t give up! Juggle many jobs. (Yes I work in disability care, customer service and mental health to live!) Do what you have to do to make your dreams a reality. We only have one life. Adversity only makes us stronger and gives us a way to fight for our dreams. Till Later Folks Bev Founder of Celebrate Living History Contact: Celebrate Living History PO BOX 11253 Frankston 3199 www.celebratelivinghistory.com celebratelivinghistory@gmail.com (Continued) Thanks to our Partners Sponsors Don’t leave your tax return to the last minute! Get in touch with Edie at Tax After Hours, Give her a buzz on (03) 9750 5271 or email at info@taxafterhours.com.au www.taxafterhours.com.au
  6. 6. Happy Stuff

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