On 3 September, Mrs Patricia Bagley will celebrate her 100th birthday with family and friends, as she enjoys her seaside home at Resthaven Port Elliot.
Mrs Bagley has always enjoyed coastal living; from the time she was born.
Mrs Bagley says, ‘I was born at Brighton and grew up in Reynella. Sadly, my mother passed when I was only 13 days old. My sister Irene and I spent much of our early childhood being cared for by our father, maternal grandparents, and other close family members.’
‘I have very fond memories of my grandparents, who lived on a small mixed farm up the road from our family home. I recall helping them to care for the animals, and doing other various tasks to earn pocket money.’
‘Dad remarried when Irene and I were still very young, and we gained three sisters in the next few years.’
‘On completing grade seven, and leaving school, as was the common thing in those days, I had various jobs in local businesses. I later got to work in the mail order department at Myer, then in the early years of the war, I worked in a munitions factory.’
‘My ambition was to join the [Royal Australian] Navy and travel the world. To achieve this dream, I did general nurse training at Wallaroo in the new hospital. At the time, I had to find out where Wallaroo was!’
‘I made many friends amongst my fellow trainees, and we had quite a busy social life. I wrote and received many letters from visiting servicemen who attended the regular dances. Among these chaps was a local, Reg Buck, who was in the [Royal Australian] Air Force at the time.’
‘We married, settled in Wallaroo, and had six children, five were born within 4 years and 11 months!’
‘Life was busy, raising our family through some tough times, and became busier still when I returned to nursing to supplement our income.’
‘Reg died at the age of 45 from war related illness. The children and I moved to Adelaide shortly after.’
‘For a few years, I cared for an elderly aunt in return for accommodation in a lovely home in Belair. We actually had an inside toilet!’
‘On the weekends, I did night duty shifts at a nursing home, as well as Saturday evenings at the Belair Hotel.’
Mrs Bagley reflects, ‘It is very interesting comparing the options available to senior folk then and now. I hope that my care to those “patients” back then gave them comfort. I can certainly vouch for the care and interaction I receive in my current abode. I am encouraged and supported to be part of a lovely environment. My jokes and sense of humour seem to be appreciated.’
‘I later moved to Klemzig and worked at Uniroyal factory until retirement. My sister lived at Victor Harbor, so I relocated to be closer to her.’
‘I then met my second husband, Ernest Bagley, we married and lived at Tickera, as well as a second home at Kingscote. Our cat, Tim, and the chooks, did the trips back and forth with us on the ferry.’
‘With Ernest I got to do more travel, both overseas and locally. We shared a wonderful time together during our marriage until he died in 2001.’
‘Whilst I have had some tough times, I have learned to appreciate that life has been good to me. I have good health, but I often ask, “why am I so healthy?”.’
‘I am a strong believer in my faith. Don’t hold grudges in life. I always say, “If I want God to forgive me, then I must forgive others.” I live by it, and I am happy.’
Mrs Bagley notes that her children are her greatest achievement. She is a very proud mother who takes pride in how they have grown up.
On her birthday, Mrs Bagley looks forward to celebrating with an afternoon tea at Port Elliot, surrounded by her six children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, relatives, and friends.
Many happy returns, Mrs Bagley.