Resthaven Mitcham Resident, Mrs Heather Hand, recollects her interesting life.
Being born in the lead up to World War II, Mrs Hand was raised in the Riverland to parents who ran a bakery, supplying the internment camps in the area.
‘Once I could, I left school to pursue work in my local area – this is when I met my husband, Rob, and we married shortly after,’ says Mrs Hand.
‘Once married, we settled down in Port Lincoln, where we started our family, ending up with four beautiful children.’
Working as Manager for the first Tom the Cheap supermarket in 1972, Mrs Hand used her free time to lead fundraisers for charity, through the local Tunarama Festival.
‘When my daughter was old enough, we both entered the state-level Miss Industry Quest, where we won two Charity Queen titles and raised $35,000 for the disabled – today that would be around $340,000.’
Mrs Hand’s forward-thinking and planning were officially recognised, receiving many awards during those years.
‘After moving back to Loxton for a few years in 1975 to take over my parent’s fruit block, I completed my studies in tourism, and found I had the knack for that sort of thing.’
‘I have always seen myself as a leader and decided to start my own business developing specially designed tours in Australia and overseas – my largest group from memory was forty-six travellers.’
During the 1990s, Mrs Hand instigated the Big Santa Walk, and later, ran local tours of the district. Loxton was developing a national reputation for one of the best regional Christmas Light displays in the country, one which still operates today.
‘If you put your mind to something, you will succeed, and if you haven’t, keep going because you’re not finished yet! Success comes to those who work for it.’
Mrs Hand’s final paid employment was as Manager of the local Mitre 10 Garden Centre for three years, where her lifelong love of gardening, still on show today at Resthaven, restored the tired gardening section of the store to its former glory.
Heather is now caring for some of the beautiful garden beds at Resthaven Mitcham, amongst other activities.
Established in 1935, Resthaven is a South Australian not-for-profit aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church in Australia.
Every day, Resthaven shares the lives and wisdom of older people and their carers, opening doors to the full range of aged care service options available. Services are provided throughout metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, Murraylands, Riverland, Fleurieu Peninsula, lower Barossa region and the Limestone Coast of South Australia.