Palm Lake Care Residents' Stories

Pamela’s time to stop and smell the roses at Palm Lake Bargara

Here I am always at ease

As far as Bundaberg ‘locals’ go, Pamela Dewar would be a shoo-in for the crowning title. At 87, Pamela and her (late) husband Donald raised five kids in Bundaberg who have gone on to bless Pamela with 12 grandkids, 14 great grandkids and even three great-great grandkids!
As well as doing their part to keep Bundaberg’s population growth on track, Pamela and Donald also helped keep the wheels of the local economy turning. They spent almost 40 years running a Bundaberg boat-building business and slipway.

The hard-working pair were so dedicated to their business that it took more than 30 years for them to go on a ‘real’ holiday – and it was a taste of freedom that stuck. Within a few years, they’d sell the slipway and do a couple of laps of the country in their caravan. It would become the start of an annual interstate pilgrimage that would last almost two decades.

The pair would pack up their Hilux and caravan, throw a 15ft tinnie on top and head to Borroloola, a Northern Territory town on the McArthur River. They’d head up in April each year and be back to Bundaberg by August. With their dogs and some homebrew in tow, their days at Borroloola would be filled with fishing and crabbing. But Bundaberg and family always called the pair home. In her lifetime, Pamela has seen much change in her hometown.

Many will know their daughter, Susan, who previously owned Jake’s Candy in Bundaberg and Pamela’s granddaughter who owns Cha Cha Chocolate in the CBD.

Pamela was one of the first Palm Lake Care Bargara residents when it opened in 2016. After 55 years in the family home, nowadays, her photos and that deep sense of peace she feels here at Palm Lake Care are what mean the world to her. She loves her space and calls her suite a “palace”. She even has a family of eager sparrows who congregate in her courtyard at 5am daily, waiting for a sprinkle of birdseed.

Hers is a welcoming, light-drenched suite, filled with framed memories and a lingering scent of freshly cut roses. Pamela looks forward to her fortnightly outings to the local rose farm where she buys three bunches of 10 stems religiously. For Pamela, life is all about stopping and smelling the roses. And here at Palm Lake Care Bargara, she can.

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