Raelene shares her rich history with Bajool students
WELCOME to 'Our Priceless Past'. This is an annual feature in The Morning Bulletin where local school students meet with our senior citizens and write about their history for the community. We will be publishing these stories throughout the next week. This is one of the stories written by CQ school students in 'Our Priceless Past' series.
THE senior citizen that we were privileged to interview was Raelene Smithers, a beautiful woman who loves to do puzzles, crosswords, gardening and who also enjoys cooking.
Raelene was born in Mount Morgan and she likes to play the piano and the violin. She attended boarding school at Emu Park for 15 years and only saw her parents once or twice a year during that time. There was a church in the schoolyard and Raelene and her friends use to play ghosts by placing sheets over each other until they were caught. She did love boarding school but when she went to another school that she didn't like very much she ran away. One early morning when she was 7 and her sister was 12 they decided to run away and stay at the station. A man saw them and asked what they doing by themselves and where their parents were. The girls were quickly sent back to the Emu Park boarding school.
Raelene has always had a passion for cooking and she worked at the bowling clubs, a number of hotels and catered for parties for 10 years. She would always cook for those occasions.
Raelene knows that her greatest achievement in life was having her three sons. Raelene has four grandchildren with another grandchild due this month. She had two sisters and two brothers but, sadly, one of her brothers died from cancer.
Raelene has a rich family history with her grandfather, Billy Quinn, being the first person in her family to use an X-ray machine in Brisbane after having a terrible fall off a horse. Her grandparents owned the Cracow Hotel and were the first people in the town to own a dairy farm. One of her uncles has put together a Quinn book about the dairy farm the family owned.
Raelene is very proud to have an aunty who received a letter from the Queen and also from the Pope when she was 107 years old.
It was a privilege meeting Raelene and listening to her amazing life story.
- Interview conducted by Marley Cooper and Makaela North from Bajool State School.