A journey worth travelling

Originally from Ireland, Irene Baldwin has lived at Allora Gardens since 2009, and credits the great community spirit as the reason the move is a decision she’ll never regret.

Irene Baldwin made the solo move from Ireland to Australia in 1970, at the tender age of 18. With no friends or family waiting for her at her destination, she bravely boarded a ship bound for Australia, unsure of what lay ahead.

“I really wanted to go to Canada because that’s where all my relations are, but in those days it cost ten pounds to travel and I was only earning five pounds per week, so I decided to go to Australia instead. But in the end, because I was under 21 the trip cost me nothing,” Irene said.

The journey to Australia was an eventful one, and one that Irene remembers vividly.

“It was five weeks on a ship, the Fair Star, and I was seasick two and half of those weeks. It was terrible,” she said.

Irene became friends with a few girls on the ship and they ended up moving into an apartment together. In the most romantic and serendipitous of circumstances, just one month after her big move, Irene met her husband. They married in 1971 and then in 1977 they spent six weeks abroad in England and Ireland visiting their families.

After her husband tragically passed away in 2009, Irene moved into Allora Gardens. Living at Allora Gardens allows Irene the opportunity to live the happy, productive and carefree lifestyle she so loves. She keeps herself busy with swimming, water aerobics, snooker and pool, regular overseas travel and various other activities.

The most unique and appealing element of village life that stood out to Irene from the moment she moved into the village was the community spirit. The relationships between residents and staff offer great comfort and wonderful opportunities to create lasting friendships.

“We really do have a wonderful community spirit here in the village. I consider the community clubhouse an extension of my own lounge room. I can go there at any time and there is always someone there to have a coffee and a chat with. We have a great coffee machine there and the clubhouse is always occupied by residents, so you’re never really alone,” Irene said.