People of Helping Hand: Clarrie - Helping Hand

People of Helping Hand: Clarrie


At 91 years of age, Clarrie, who lives at our Parafield Gardens home, cheerfully describes himself as a bit of a ‘local lad’.

In 1944, he left school when he was 14 years old and started working at a Die Casting business in Port Adelaide.

‘My first job was in the press shop, then I became a Leading Hand, then a Foreman and then a Supervisor’, recalls Clarrie. He also worked at John Shearer for almost 20 years in a supervisory role.

Clarrie was married to Joyce for 71 years and they had two children and six grandchildren. ‘71 years, eh? It’s a long time, isn’t it? These days some people don’t last seven weeks!’ For the last few years, Clarrie and Joyce lived together at the home, until Joyce passed away in April.

A cheeky sense of humour keeps him going. Clarrie shares the gift of laughter by producing a regular newsletter filled with anecdotes, jokes and cartoons. The newsletter is photocopied by staff and enjoyed by everyone at the home. ‘Residents are always stopping me and asking me when the next one is coming out. You’ve got to keep the brain moving don’t you?’ says Clarrie.

Clarrie and Joyce were enthusiastic lawn bowlers and Clarrie even became the President of the Elizabeth Bowls Club. ‘Joyce was a great player and she was involved in lots of social groups and associations’, says Clarrie. Together they took part in many tournaments, here and interstate. ‘When you are in a good bowls team, you can go anywhere.’

While Clarrie has left the bowling green behind, he remains the definition of a good sport – and a good sportsman. ‘When I first moved here, I did play bowls once or twice, but I stopped as I felt I had an unfair advantage over the other residents!”

To conclude this week’s People of Helping Hand here is a joke from Clarrie’s collection:

What did the plumber say when he left his wife? ‘It’s over Flo!”


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