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A century of seniors share their stories

Last published on 23 Dec 2020 in Media Releases

One hundred authors have put pen to paper to share their tales of triumph and tragedy in the latest edition of Seniors’ Stories.

Acting Minister for Seniors Geoff Lee has officially launched Volume 6 of the short story collection from NSW Seniors Card members today.

“The creativity and skill of the authors has really shone through in Seniors’ Stories this year where the theme is Resilience and we have needed an abundance of that in 2020,” said Mr Lee.

“These talented writers have tapped into their wisdom and experience to produce some remarkable tales from surviving a Japanese prisoner of war camp to rebuilding a community after a bushfire.”

91-year-old Ferdinand Brockhall described his teenage years as a prisoner of war in The Peanut Butter Miracle, An Incident in War.

“For me, starving in the concentration camp was looking down into a pitch-black bottomless pit, an overwhelming endurance which blotted out even a flicker of hope,” said Mr Brockhall, who completed a PhD in education at the age of 81.

“I am a lifelong learner and I find writing is a good way to keep my mind active,”

Retired teacher Gail Houghton has lived the world over, including Iraq, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates, but chose to write about an incident closer to home in Fire!.

“The roar intensified. Nothing is so terrible and fearsome as the noise of a fire crowning, those red hungry fingers of flame grabbing at the next tree in the canopy. Now the roar was all around me; deafening,” said Ms Houghton, who now lives in Coonabarabran.

“It’s only now I feel comfortable enough to write about it.”

The NSW Government launched Seniors’ Stories in 2013 as a way of recognising and valuing the experiences of seniors.

Seniors’ Stories Volume 6 is now available at all local libraries across NSW, or a copy can be downloaded at: https://www.seniorscard.nsw.gov.au/news-activities/seniors-stories

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