Each person is an individual and has a story to tell. We spoke with Resthaven Paradise resident, Mr Colin Swensen, who prides his strong work ethic and family values to have carried him through a life well lived.
Born and raised in South Australia in 1933, Mr Swensen grew up on the shores of Semaphore, where his parents tended to the Port Adelaide lighthouse.
Mr Swensen recalls what a pleasure it was to live by the beach, ‘I remember collecting shells from Mutton Cove after a storm. I used to sell them for pocket money,’ Mr Swensen says.
With six children in the house, Mr Swensen was fortunate to have grown a particularly close bond with his mother.
‘My mother used to home school me for a period, and I remember my extra time with her fondly.’
‘My favourite subject was English literature, and she was especially decent at teaching it!’
As a teenager, Mr Swensen found employment at a joinery shop – unknowingly leading him to meet his future wife.
‘I was a natural repair-man, giving me good stride in the job, and I suppose it was around this time when I met my wife, Joan.’
‘We had children pretty quickly, John, Lynelsa and Mark, and found a lot of joy in being parents.’
After a couple of years, Mr Swensen felt it was the perfect time to do what he had always dreamed of doing as a child.
‘When I was 22 years old, I joined the army in the 9th Field Squadron – these were my best years, looking back, and I retired respectfully as Corporal.’
Aside from working hard, Mr Swensen knew how to enjoy himself during his downtime.
‘I have always enjoyed sports, and I am quite good at dancing – taking Joan out in our younger years.’
‘We did a bit of travelling – Darwin being our favourite place to visit.’
Unsurprisingly, Mr Swensen’s advice to the young is to ‘work hard.’
‘My father taught me many things, but I have always remembered his words: “anything you can earn with your hand, you can eat”, “you are better than nobody else, and nobody else is better than you” and “just try not to do anything bad by anybody”.’
Wise words, indeed!
Every day, Resthaven shares the lives and wisdom of older people and their carers, being one of only a select few aged care providers in Australia offering the full range of aged care service options.
A not for profit, South Australian aged care community service associated with the Uniting Church, Resthaven’s residential and in-home care and support options are offered throughout metropolitan Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, Murraylands, Riverland, Barossa, Fleurieu Peninsula and the Limestone Coast.