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‘It’s like a family’: former Sydney Olympics torchbearer finds comfort at Bethanie Esprit Village

Rosa Tognela has only been living at Bethanie Esprit Retirement Village in Eaton for three months, but says she already feels like she’s at home.

The 74-year-old moved to a cottage in the retirement village after downsizing from her farm in Brunswick where she lived with her husband and three children.

“I lived in a very big home but downsized after I lost my husband 13 years ago,” Ms Tognela said.

“I decided to move to Bethanie Esprit Retirement Village because I already had a lot of friends living in the village that I visited frequently.

“I also really like the company here – you walk down the road and people come out to talk to you. Everyone is so friendly that it feels just like a family.”

It comes as no surprise that Ms Tognela enjoys all the social activities the village has to offer, after all, she has been a member of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) for 45 years – six of which included her being State President, State International Officer and assistant to the South Pacific President.

Ms Tognela joined CWA back in 1977 after initially taking her mother-in-law to meetings every month.

While she was CWA State President, Ms Tognela was asked to become a torchbearer on behalf of WA country women for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Nowadays, Ms Tognela occupies her time by following her eight grandchildren with their sporting events and even plays the occasional bowls and golf herself.

As a "people-person", Ms Tognela takes advantage of all that the resort clubhouse has to offer including regular happy hours and movie nights.

Retirement living doesn't mean sitting at home alone. Residents visit family, socialise with neighbours and go on holiday, which is made even easier with Bethanie Esprit’s lock and leave benefits which includes a 24-hour emergency system, evening security patrol and on-site caravan parking.

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