Words of Wisdom
As told to Melise Coleman
This week we were alerted to a wonderful achievement from Orange local, Louise Eggleston.
Louise has currently knitted over 1,000 trauma bears for the Orange Red Cross to distribute. “I saw a media article regarding trauma bears over in Europe and I thought that they were a great idea. I had access to wool, and I had a bit of time on my hands, I don’t like to sit with nothing in my hands, I enjoy keeping busy, so that’s how I began, that was in 2003.”
“[President] Doreen [Thompson] told me that I had knitted 1,050 bears not long ago, I couldn’t believe it I hadn’t been keeping count that’s for sure!
We wanted to find out a little more about Louise.
Where and when were you born? Sydney in 1953.
Why do you continue to knit the trauma bears? I can see its of benefit to the children and not only children. They go to nursing homes and to anyone who is suffering, in angst or being treated. When you see them in people’s homes and you know it has helped someone in there, that’s good enough for me.
What are these bears used for locally? The bears are used in Orange for the emergency services (Fire, Ambulance and Police) as well as in the Orange Health Service in the Pathology section. Bears have also been sent to Dubbo and to Camp Quality as well as drought affected families.
What do you enjoy most about what you do? I’m not a crafty person but I do like to help children, I think that children are the future and we have to look after our future.
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life? Just to be kind to other people, have faith and really think you’re in a good place yourself and try to help other people.
What life advice would you pass along to your grandchildren? Always do your best and be brave, don’t be afraid to speak up.
What is your favourite childhood memory? Oh.. *laughs* going fishing in a tinny up the coast with my parents, friends and extended family. I don’t do any fishing anymore *laughs*
What are you most proud of? I’m proud of my teaching [career], I’m also proud of the fact that I am always willing to take on new things, I think when people get older they tend to just stick to what they know and they don’t branch out.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most? Why? My Mum.. She shared many of the qualities I have, she was always very understanding and would stand by you no matter what.
Describe yourself in three words. Well put this is brackets (I TRY) *laughs* to be patient, I’m interested and determined.
What is something that not many people know about you? Oh.. I’m an open book really.. *laughs* when I was a little girl my father would put me on the backs of the cows and the pigs that we had on the farm and I would ride them - he held onto me of course.. I’ve never told anyone that.
What else are you involved in, in the community? Well, like I said I like to keep busy, I am involved with the ‘View Club’ raising money to support children in the ‘Learning for Life Students’ Program, I am also involved in the camel races and Give Me 5 for kids. And the latest thing I have picked up is learning or playing croquet a few times a week.