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IRT Tarrawanna Gardens: celebrating a silver anniversary

Care Services
  • IRT Tarrawanna Gardens had its 25th birthday in October 2018
  • Four residents have been at the community from the very beginning
  • The foursome share their memories about moving into the community
  • The community’s birthday was celebrated with a morning tea
23 April 2019
(Left-right) Josie Blud, Anne Lee and Heather James reminiscing about IRT Tarrawanna Gardens

In October last year IRT Tarrawanna Gardens celebrated its 25th birthday. The Good Life caught up with four residents who have been there from the very beginning to talk about life at their community.

“My sister lived in Wollongong and when I visited her I would often attend VIEW Club meetings with her. One of the club members kept asking me when I was moving to Wollongong and she knew just the place for me.”
Pat Hart

Josie Blud, Heather James, Anne Lee and Pat Hart have lived at IRT Tarrawanna Gardens for 25-plus years and have plenty of fond memories.

Josie moved into IRT Tarrawanna Gardens in 1993. Josie and her late husband Les bought off the plan and she remembers when the community was officially opened by the Governor of NSW Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AC. She and Les took the Governor around the community.

Heather and her late husband Keith were living at the community well before the official opening. “I’ve been in for 26 years,” she says. Keith wasn’t well, so the couple decided to move in while they could have some time together. “So he only had eight years here,” she says.

(Left-right) Anne Lee, Josie Blud, Heather James and Pat Hart cutting the cake at the 25th birthday celebrations

Anne moved in when she was 58 and still working. She remembers hearing about the community through a work colleague’s mother who was living at Towradgi.

“So I went to IRT and they had the plan and I was the third red dot on it.”

Anne says it worked out well for her. “The fact that I could go travelling around the world and come back, no problem, was really good.”

Pat was living in Sydney before making the move to IRT Tarrawanna Gardens. “My sister lived in Wollongong and when I visited her I would often attend VIEW Club meetings with her. One of the club members kept asking me when I was moving to Wollongong and she knew just the place for me.”

So Pat and her sister took a walk around the village and Pat really liked it – in particular the views to the Illawarra escarpment.

A collage of photos from the 25th birthday celebrations

Pat recalls the story of the official opening and the NSW Governor and his wife in attendance. “My sister came to the opening too and when the Governor and his wife were leaving we raced up to my balcony, which overlooked the community’s entrance, to wave. And they waved back to us – which they both leaned over in the car to do.”

Heather says it’s a lovely little community. “You can have friends who can pop over for a little chit chat.”

Josie says everyone is good to her. “They spoil me – because I shout at them all,” she laughs. “I wouldn’t want to move anywhere else.”

For the 25th birthday celebrations Heather says there was a morning tea in the community hall.

“We had a bit of cake and a cup of tea or a drink,” she says.

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