News & Events

Jill shrugs off angel tag

May 24, 2018

Jill Dale get’s called an angel by some people in Braeside Park, but she’s having none of it.  “If I’m an angel, my halo is rusty,” she said.
She says any service to other residents is just her way of giving back and showing gratitude for all she has been given over the years.

Jill, 80, was very familiar with Braeside Park before she moved in 17 years ago. She regularly visited her long-time friend Avis Wadmore and when she applied and was offered a two-bedroom cottage in a perfect location with a renovated kitchen and bathroom, she grabbed the opportunity.

She was working in administration at Melbourne Girls Grammar when she was offered the cottage and hadn’t intended retiring at 63, but she did and took no time at all to adjust to her new life. “It’s as if it was meant to be”. Her retirement came after a long and varied work life, which included stints as a theatre usherette, tourist bureau advisor, dental assistant and pattern checker for Cleckheaton wool.

“I’m not one to sit and let the moss grow over me, so I have always loved keeping busy,” she said.

Jill’s day starts at 5.15am when she collects her morning newspaper and puts it on her neighbour’s step to be read over breakfast. The paper is returned to her to read from cover to cover and do the crosswords and word games. Then she spends her day enjoying village activities or taking friends in the village to appointments or to social outings. Every second Saturday she takes two residents to a nearby shopping centre to do their regular shopping. Every appointment is coupled with a coffee and a relaxing chat!

“Whenever I have had health issues and am not mobile my family were available to take me to appointments and doctors and I want to be able to do that for others as long as I can still drive. A lot of people don’t have families that can do that sort of thing,’ Jill said. “It’s a privilege for me to be able to drive people places and it’s not a big thing to help someone else.”

Life in the village is whatever you want to make it according to Jill and she is making the most of every day. She has been part of a book club for many years, enjoys the weekly chat and chew gatherings, plays fortnightly bingo and loves the regular Saturday movie afternoons. Every Friday she goes to her brother’s house and plays scrabble with her sister-in-law. She’s also a long-time member of the Casey Combined Probus Club.

Jill’s move to Braeside Park has given peace of mind to her and her two sons. She knows that if she needs more support and care down the track she can move into a serviced apartment or to Liscombe House, OCAV’s aged care facility in St Helena. But at the moment she is happy to be well enough to live independently at Braeside Park among her many friends.

“This chapter is still going on thankfully. There is nothing I would change that would make my life any better. I have two loving sons and family and I thank God every day that OCAV took me in when I had nothing. So this is my chance to give back whenever I can.”

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