Iren’s friends hold her dear

News & Events

Iren’s friends hold her dear

February 28, 2019

Friendship helped Iren Miskolczy live with her grief when she first came to Currie Park more than a decade ago. Now friendship is helping her through the difficult stage of ageing and frailty. The women who live at Currie Park are like Iren’s ‘guardian angels’ and she is humbled by the love and care they have shown her, particularly in the past year as her health has deteriorated.

“Everybody here looks out for me. They bring me food all the time because I don’t cook as much as I once did. They call in to see that I am ok and that I haven’t had a fall. Their kindness to me is extraordinary,” Iren said.

Iren, 89, came to Currie Park soon after her husband, Balazs, died. The family had spent most of their life in Australia farming in remote areas including the Mallee in north-west Victoria and Dalby, in the Darling Downs area of Queensland; a far cry from Budapest, in Hungary, where Iren lived until she migrated to Australia 53 years ago. Moving to a country town like Euroa, with very hot, long summers was no problem at all, but living in a community, so close to other people, was foreign to her. It turned out to be a wonderful turn of events.

“It took me a while to settle in because I was still grieving for my husband. But I soon made friends and I still have those dear friends,” she said. Some of those friends joined her at the Winternet cafe last year (link) where many of the residents learned how to improve their computer skills. Iren learned how to send emails, but realises she still needs a bit of practice if she is to communicate with her son, Balazs in Alice Springs, and her two grandchildren.

Iren made friends and over the years has joined those friends in the village’s many activities, including the walking group and the art group. She developed a beautiful garden, which sadly she can no longer maintain. She joined the art classes begun by resident artist Gillian Coates and her painted plate is now part of the stunning garden installation at Currie Park (link). Iren, who gets around with the aid of a walker, can no longer participate in the Wednesday walking group, but her friends are determined she remains part of the walkers’ coffee get together in town and she is picked up by her friend Ellen Doyle-Roberts and driven back to her unit.

“The time is coming for me to move to a nursing home and I am sure I will howl tears because I will have to leave my friends. It will be hard, but very necessary,” Iren said.

Iren left some of her heart in Budapest when she farewelled her family more than half a century ago. She also grieved when she left the magic of her bushland property in Dalby. But a very big part of her will always be in Euroa, no matter where she goes.

“What a godsend this place has been to me and the friends I have made who have been so kind to me. Who could wish for anything more than what I have had here.”

Pete Zawacki drove to Leith Park twice a week to visit his mother, Helen, until her death a year ago. After she died he wanted to honour her memory and ‘repay’ the kindness staff showed her by volunteering.

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