When Frances Collins relocated from Ascot to Atria South in Hamilton Reach four years ago, she could not anticipate the depth of community spirit and beautiful friendships she would forge.
The mother of five and grandmother of five is a much-loved part of the Hamilton Reach community, whose personality shines as brightly as her trademark red lipstick.
What were your first impressions of Hamilton Reach?
I had no expectations when I moved here in 2017. I’m in my seventies and I’ve lived in lots of places, most recently in Ascot for some years. I have been absolutely bowled over by everything that happens here. The whole lifestyle is beautiful, and the people are very caring and community minded. Everybody pulls together to help. It really is quite unique.
What is it about the community spirit here that you love most?
You can enjoy your own privacy, or you can join in the many activities held here. There’s no pressure, you decide what you want to do.
I made a promise to myself to get up, put my lipstick on and go out to buy my coffee each morning. I bump into many people when I’m walking – some may nod, others smile or stop for a chat. Most of the friendships I’ve formed here started that way, on my walks or through our great book club.
How has the river become part of your daily life?
Ever since I was a young child, I have wanted to live by the water. Back then, I dreamed of living by the Pacific Ocean! However, the Brisbane River has become very special too. There are lovely walks along the river, through the parklands down to Portside.
I love to jump on the ferry and wander up to Newstead Providore in Teneriffe. They know me now and during COVID-19 they have made meals for me so I don’t have to go to the supermarket very often and can stay safe. However, if you need a supermarket Gasworks is just a little bit further on.
What are your favourite local spots and why?
Racecourse Road is a very special place nearby. It’s like a beautiful country village, in a city. People there are more than shop owners – they’re part of our community and the friendly care and support they provide adds to the joy of living at Hamilton Reach. It’s worth a stroll to discover the many special shops and services close by.
You recently helped raise money for the Cancer Council – tell us more.
The Cancer Council is an important charity to me, and I was delighted to take part in our ‘Biggest Morning Tea’ fundraiser in July. Shaun at Hamilton Espresso offered to host it at his venue, which was perfect. In addition to all the home made treats we baked, Shaun donated loads of pastries and sold most of the raffle tickets. He had all his staff on board that day which was an incredible help. We had so much support from the local Hamilton and Ascot businesses who donated the raffle prizes. However, what made it a successful, fun day was the support from our amazing local community who helped raise approximately $1,400.
This community spirit is what makes living at Hamilton Reach so special.