For Bolton Clarke Moreton Shores resident Bette, September will be a big month.
Not only will it mark her sixth anniversary living in the Moreton Shores residential aged care community at bayside Thornlands, in south-east Queensland, but it will also see the official unveiling of newest developments at the site, including an al fresco functions area overlooking the lake, a gym, café and cinema room, landscaped gardens with a children’s playground and 60 new residential aged care suites to meet growing demand in the region.
Bette, 97, has a special interest in the development – she was recently invited on an inspection of the prototype of the new bedrooms within the 56-bed wing extension during building work to provide feedback.
Her suggestions were requested and included a long hanging space in the wardrobe which has now been incorporated into the final designs. She also offered her confirmation of the design and layout of the room.
The playground is also important for the proud great-grandmother who has six children, 20 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren, with the 27th due very soon.
Born Fuschia Davis in Toowoomba, Queensland, she adopted the name Bette after film star Bette Davis on the suggestion of an Australian soldier.
She married John Pini, who had served in the 6th Division South Pacific War Reinforcements in Papua New Guinea (PNG) during World War Two, and raised her family in Rabaul, Lae and Port Moresby.
John took a job as a senior clerk after the war and made a significant contribution to PNG sport including organising the first South Pacific Games, taking teams of up to 300 athletes to other islands to compete.
His work earned him an MBE in 1975.
The family’s love of sport has continued down the generations, with the pair’s grandson Ryan Pini winning gold for PNG in the 100m butterfly event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and also competing in the Olympics.
“It’s been a busy life, but I’ve enjoyed it,” Bette says, adding that she believes a healthy sense of humour is one of the secrets to wellness.
“If you lose your sense of humour, you’ve lost everything.”
Bette will be among special guests at several functions at Moreton Shores over coming months celebrating the latest milestone in the community’s development.