Family is important

Strong family connections are important in our lives, and as we grow older, having a close-knit family becomes even more special. Coorparoo resident, Joyce Stubbings, shares with us what life was like growing up with her family in rural Queensland to owning a dairy farm with her husband, and the bond she shares with her five sons.

Joyce was born in the small town of Allora, Queensland. Growing up on a farm, her early memories involved playing with her five younger brothers and sisters in a creek they had within the property. ‘We were allowed to go and paddle in the shallow water, but we had to stay away from a waterhole that was very deep,’ she recalls.

Joyce lived in a farming community and remembers helping her father from a young age. ‘My chores were to gather the eggs, wash them, and polish them,’ she says. Joyce’s mum worked as a nurse at Allora Hospital, and despite her busy job, Joyce said she always found time to make the school uniforms for her and her siblings. Joyce went to school in Toowoomba, and she remembers how important the uniforms were for them. ‘At inter school athletics days all students were judged on their uniforms, and additional uniform points were given to each student,’ she says. ‘The school with the most points would be the overall winner. I remember my mum making all our school uniforms.’

As a child, Joyce said she enjoyed skipping and playing Chinese Checkers with her family in the evenings. She also recalled the important life lessons her parents instilled in her and her siblings. ‘They taught us right from wrong, and to respect others and their belongings,’ she says.

After finishing school, Joyce became a teacher and worked in schools within small country towns. It is around this time that she met her husband Aaron, at a dance in Dayboro. They married, moved to a dairy farm in Lamington, and had five sons together. Joyce recalls that life wasn’t easy after she tragically lost her husband to a farming accident when the boys were young. The insurance allowed her to keep the farm, and they all worked hard to keep it going.

Joyce’s sons are now all grown up with families of their own. She has 12 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, with another on the way, due May 2024. ‘I have watched my sons grow up, get married, and have their own families,’ Joyce says. ‘My sons have all brought lovely daughters-in-law into my life. They all keep in touch with me and support me, which I cherish. Family is important.’

At Coorparoo, Joyce continues to celebrate milestone events with her family such as her 90th birthday pictured on the side, along with fellow residents and staff. ‘I am very happy and feel very safe and very well cared for here,’ says Joyce. ‘I appreciate the care and attention I receive and enjoy the interactions I have with other residents and staff.’