“I don’t think I would have managed without Anglicare. I would have gone quite mad.”
Reina came to Australia, just for a three month holiday, in 1957
She’s still here over 60 years later. “I must have liked the place!” she laughs. It turns out a charming Irishman had something to do with it as well.
“I met Brendan on a camping trip with friends not long after we came to Australia. He fell out of his canoe and being Irish, he couldn’t swim. It was quite a comic pantomime. We thought it was funny…though he didn’t!”
Brendan and Reina married and so began a wonderful journey that lasted for nearly 60 years
“We didn’t have any money, we had a simple life, but we enjoyed each other’s company and we had fun”. After their early happy years on the central coast, the couple moved to Canberra. By now there were four – daughters Fiona and Meagan had arrived.
The family were very happy, and made friends everywhere they went, many of whom Reina is still in touch with today. “It was Brendan. He was so charming. He didn’t have to do anything – he just made people feel good, and everywhere we went, people loved him. It was the Irish charm.”
30 years ago, they bought a block of land on a whim, not far from Batemans Bay. They built a home, a walk from the local beach, with a beautiful deck reaching out high into the trees and the birds. Brendan and Reina retired there not long after and began new adventures. With a passionate commitment to environmental issues, they joined Landcare, and also found great joy with community choirs at Sing Australia. And as always, they had a wonderful time, and made many more new friends.