Senior club provides lifeline for Australind resident
Eileen Depiazzi has many loves in her life — her husband, her family, theatre and one can’t forget, the Australind and Districts Senior Citizens Centre.
Eileen moved from England to Australia with her husband and two children in search of a better life, and after the birth of her third son, the family moved from Perth to Bunbury.
She found work as a cook at the Lord Forrest Hotel for 10 years before moving on to cook at St John of God Hospital Bunbury.
“I’ve always worked and I put my three sons through university — that’s what I wanted,” she said.
“In England our education where I was, was limited and I felt I never got the education I wanted and it held me back through the years.”
For Eileen, making sure her sons had the resources to pave great careers was a way to give back to the community.
It was Eileen’s second husband who introduced her to the club that would change her life.
She had always had an interest in the arts and said she first got involved with theatre during her time at St John’s when she performed in the Christmas skits.
“I just feel the joy of giving and making somebody smile,” she said.
“Then when I came to the club I wanted to carry on doing something like that.
“I was only 56 then and I was still working, but I was only working part time and the club had a new variety show, so I thought ‘I’ll join that’.”
In 2004 Eileen performed her first variety show on stage and by 2008 she was running the group.
Eileen said the Australind and District Seniors Citizens Centre changed her life.
“My husband passed away from a battle with cancer and I think this was like a lifeline, this club,” she said.
When my husband passed I felt on my own, but as soon as I walked into the club the girls were here and friends were here and I felt good again.
“It makes me feel happy, especially doing the shows and people come and all go home smiling and they’re happy.”
The centre provides Eileen with friendship and somewhere to go each day to do something different.
“Seniors who don’t join clubs can end up lonely unless they’ve got a big family,” she said.
“I find this club is the centre of my life, I’ve got a reason to keep getting up and keep my brain thinking.
“My family are not around me ... so I had to make friends and I found them here.”
I find in life if you get to the age you can’t do something, there’s always something you can do so don’t regret that, just find something you can do.
Eileen even found love through the club and met her third husband at one of her variety shows.
“There’s something in the centre for everybody,” Eileen said.
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