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Shona McFarlane Retirement Village - Meet Sylvia Heaven...

I was born in Somerset, England in 1927. My father was in the Somerset Light Infantry. From the age of seven I lived in many different places in India.

I met my husband Craig while I was in the Women’s Voluntary Service and he was posted to the local Gunnery School. He was a young, handsome Kiwi pilot who was shot down over Burma, presumed dead, but taken prisoner by the Japanese, just months after we were engaged. I later became engaged to his best friend. When the war ended and Craig returned, I had to choose between the two but Craig persisted and we were married in Ranikhet in 1945.

We journeyed to New Zealand where I had to learn a completely different life. I had always had servants and didn’t even know how to boil an egg. But Craig and I had a lovely life, with three children in our first three years together. The roof caved in for me when Craig died in a plane crash leaving me with three children under five to bring up alone. I had no relatives in New Zealand and it was not easy. Later I remarried for a short time and had another child.

In 1998 I walked the Gold Coast half marathon. I participated in the Pencarrow Fun Walks from 1993 – 1996. I also used to play table tennis weekly for many years while living in Brooklyn.

I have always enjoyed travelling, especially by train. I have travelled on the CPR from Vancouver to Toronto, on the Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide and the Indian Pacific from Perth to Adelaide. In 1998 I made a pilgrimage to the bridge on the River Kwai, the train consisted of open carriages packed with many people. I have also been on a number of cruises.

I moved into my Shona McFarlane serviced apartment in 2011. It was a very wise decision and I haven’t looked back.

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