Senior man smiling at camera

This month we talked to Joe, who has attended more than 550 Virtual Social Centre sessions since joining the VSC in April 2020.

We wanted to find out more about Joe’s life story, how he first connected with the VSC and what it has meant for him to be a part of the VSC community. Read his inspiring responses. 

The Virtual Social Centre (VSC) is made possible by you, our wonderful members who participate, host, and contribute every day to make it the success it is today. Our VSC members enable lives to be enriched, not only their own but others around them, and to share the feeling of ‘togetherness’ every day. Recent feedback from members has been they have wondered why they are feeling happier lately and they put it down to being able to connect with others and attend sessions on the VSC.  

Joe, tell us a little bit about you – where did you grow up, and where do you currently live? 

I was born in Slovenia, ex-Yugoslavia, in 1932 and lived there until I was 20. From there I moved to France as a refugee and lived in Paris for 6 years. I then migrated to Australia, ending up in Sydney in 1959. I currently live in Eastlakes, a suburb of Sydney NSW. 

Can you tell me about one of your passions or hobbies, or a memorable event in your life? 

My passions are gardening and cooking. I like to grow my own salads, and some vegetables, and since all my family love salad, two of our main meals always include a salad from my garden. 

How has that passion, hobby or event shaped your life? 

Cooking has been of importance to me because my mother passed away when I was 18 months old and I learnt many things about cooking and baking and working on the land from my father who brought up myself and my sister as a single dad. Both these interests have shaped my everyday life as I still love to cook and garden to the best that my 89 years will allow. Apart from cooking and gardening, my other interest is being a handyman and as I qualified as a mechanical engineer, I have been able to use that knowledge to execute most of the handyman repairs around the house. 

My two main places of employment were ACI Engineering, as project engineer. In this job I was responsible for building bottle making machines and travelled extensively both internationally (Djakarta, New Guinea) as well as nationally (Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Tasmania and Brisbane). 

I resigned from ACI after 22 years and went to work as mechanical and maintenance engineer for Seagrams Australia, which did not involve as much travelling. 

Do you have a value, a motto, or a saying that you live your life by? 

I believe in being honest and helpful to family and people in general. And whenever faced with a problem my motto is ‘Let's have a look and see,’ then make a decision and execute. 

When did you first hear about the VSC? 

I first heard about VSC about 3 years ago when Feros contacted me and asked if I would be interested. Feros helped me register and get on board with it. It is the best thing I have ever done! 

Did you initially have reservations about connecting with people online? 

I have no problem with connecting with people online and enjoy being a part of the group, all with the common purpose of maintaining our health. 

Do you have a favourite class? Or is there a VSC host whose classes you particularly like? 

The classes I particularly enjoy are ‘Forever Young,’ ‘Strong Foundations’ and ‘Stability and Balance,’ this last one in particular, as it helps me to maintain my mobility. 

Can you tell me about a memorable experience you have had in a class? 

I strongly believe that these classes have enabled me to avoid using walking aids, such as a walking stick or walker. 

Why do you continue to support the VSC? 

I support the VSC and hold it in high regard because I think it is a wonderful organisation, one of the best worldwide for caring for the elderly and which helps seniors, me in particular, keep mobile and connected with other seniors with similar interests. Not only is it beneficial physically but also for mental health. 

What would you say to someone considering joining the VSC for the first time? 

I strongly endorse, promote, and encourage anyone who is interested in joining VSC. In fact, I belong to a Mature Men's Group, MMM, and organised for Feros Care to come to one of our meetings and give a talk on the services you offer. 

What is something you are looking forward to in the future? 

In the future I hope to continue my association with Feros Care and the VSC and continue participating in the program. 

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE VIRTUAL SOCIAL CENTRE HERE.

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