#MeetOurResidents – Elenita

Elenita's birthday group

Elenita was born in the mid-1940s in small fishing village called Tortugas in the province of Balanga, Bataan of the Republic of the Philippines.

It was the year when the Philippines was liberated from the Japanese occupation during World War II by the combined forces of America and Philippines.

Bataan and Manila were the strongholds of the resistance against the Japanese but were severely devastated during the war.

Growing up as the eldest of four siblings, Elenita assisted her parents in minding their home and a mixed business petrol station while her father managed their fish farms and other enterprising sources of income.

Consistently at the top of her class in primary and high school studies, she was also frequently chosen to be a model in town fiestas and pageants in local traditions of the provinces.

She pursued her BBA degree (Accounting major) in Manila where she met her would be husband.

They were classmates during the final year of university, and both graduated in 1965 and passed the Certified Public Accountancy Board Exam the following year.

Ellen worked as a cashier and later on as an Internal Auditor of a local bank, while her husband became Manager Financial Operations in the Philippines.

Ellen fell for and got married to her husband in the 1970s. It was the month when the stunning comet, Bennett was visible in the sky with two tails.

It was a sign of things to come as they were blessed with four boys, but then martial law was declared in the Philippines. Worried about the future, they thought of leaving the Philippines for good.

At the sponsorship of their work organisation, the Family moved to the USA in the 80s for a two year stint in as Corporate Audit staff. While her husband travelled to operations in the USA, Canada and Brazil, Ellen became a full-time mother to four growing boys in an unfamiliar environment in Schenectady, New York.

Not wanting to return to the Philippines, the family applied for and was granted permanent visas to migrate to Canada where Roger’s three siblings were citizens.

However, a job offer led the family to Australia instead, arriving in March 1983.

Ellen retrained and worked as a bookkeeper for Burwood and Edgecliff Diagnostics while Roger continued to work for GE group of companies.

Life has been good in their adopted country. The family has been blessed with seven grandchildren, six grandsons and one ‘princess’ of the clan.

In the mid-2000s, Elenita suffered a stroke which affected her mobility and cognitive functions.

Her husband decided to take early retirement to take care of her at home. After 15 years of home care, she joined the happy residents of Ashburn House at age 73 for much needed nursing and caring support.

We always see this beautiful couple together daily in the afternoons reminiscing at Bronte Café, the lush green garden, the fish pond while anticipating the arrival of the watchful kookaburras and the rare but delightful appearance of the bush turkey.

The day is normally not complete until her husband plays for her some romantic and classical piano pieces in the Cronulla Theatre.

Elenita has found her second home and life goes on.

The line of one of their favourite song sums up the vision and aspiration of this lovely couple. “You and I have travelled far together, we’ve pursued our little star together. We are happy as we are together, growing older growing closer. Making memories that light the sky. That only time can make. That only love can make. That only we can make you and I.”