Patricia Raffen - Words of Wisdom
This week we caught up with the happy, caring and loveable Patricia Raffen. “Life has been very good to me, I’ve always tried to get on with everyone I meet, I enjoy people and their company, and I like to be kept busy.”
Where and when were you born? 1941, in Kogarah.
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life? To be happy, I always wanted to get married and have a family and have grandchildren, that was my aspiration in life.
What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Taking time to be with one another, doing things together and being happy, that’s the main thing.
What big world events were the most memorable while you were growing up? Australia getting the Olympic Games was a wonderful thing. I was 14, I used to follow the swimming.
What was it like to live through major historic events? I thought it was very exciting because we had some good athletes at the time, Dawn Fraser was one of them.
What do you miss about the good-old days? I don’t really miss anything, my life hasn’t really changed much, I’ve tried to keep it on an even keel.
What is your favourite childhood memory? Probably when I got my first bike, it was actually my brothers bike, they never used to ride them, I thought.. well that’s a waste! I straddled it first, got my feet on the ground and walked around everywhere, then I got a bit more confident and then I got good! That was a present they weren’t really interested in, I got dolls.. but I liked the bikes better, *laughs* it was a nice red one.
What life advice would you pass along to your grandchildren? That they must get along with one another, they must never lie or steal, that’s been instilled in all of my children and grandchildren.
What is your favourite thing about being a grandparent? Having my grandchildren, I really couldn’t wait for that, now I’ve got five. You can spoil them until your hearts content. *laughs*
What could you tell me that I would be surprised to learn about you? I had never been to a football game in my life until I met this one boy. I had only ever dated tennis players *laughs* I met him, he invited me to his presentation, he got the award for the best forward, well I never knew what that meant. *laughs*
What did you want to be when you grew up? They told me I could be anything that I wanted. I chose to be a secretary. I was in charge of a business at 19 years old because the chap who I worked for got very sick and I got the job of running it.
What was your first job? At the Daily Telegraph, I was a junior secretary. I worked for Charlie Chapels, he was all the go.
What are you most proud of? All of my children and my grandchildren, I am very proud of them.
What have you not done that you still hope to achieve? I don’t think there is much. I just want to live a long life and be happy.
Did you get an allowance? How much was it and what did you spend your money on? Yes I did, oh gosh I can’t remember how much I was given - I am 77 you know, *laughs* it wouldn’t have been much but it felt like a lot, I generally just brought clothing. We used to have a jersey cow for milk, we had a separator which separated the milk from the cream and that was my job, I had to wash that up before school.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most? Why? My parents, they made sure we had everything we wanted which was a big thing for a child in those days.
What was your favourite thing to do for fun? I’ve always enjoyed all sports; I played tennis three times a week, I loved squash too. I’ve never played hockey that’s really the only sport I haven’t played. I follow the Roosters. I’ve followed Fred Fittler his whole football career, I have met him once, he’s a lovely person.
What do you enjoy doing now? I do lots of craft, I can make just about anything, I have enjoyed making cards recently. I used to be really into ceramics, making vases and dinner sets, though since injuring myself I gave it away.
What brought you to Orange? I came to Orange because my youngest son got an apprenticeship here, I came with him because he was only 16 years old and I travelled back home every weekend. I just fell in love with the place. I had never been here before that, and I just loved it, I have found I have a lot of friends here. I had also never seen snow before - my son broke down one day (in the snow) at the Alpine stores at the roundabout and I had been in bed *laughs* I thought oh this is cold!