An Interview with Carrie Dique
Jan.s: Carrie, we first met when we lived in the same street in Hunters Hill. It was on a sunny Saturday afternoon and there was a wedding taking place in your front yard and your yard was a buzz with activity….I soon discovered that not only was it the marriage of one of your daughters but that you had a host of daughters who were the bridesmaids!!
Carrie: We did meet under those circumstances and I found you to be such a breath of fresh air. The next day we met again and went walking to the shops where you told me about yourself. I thought what an open woman this is and you allowed me to expand on my own life.
From that time onwards we discussed many things from our childhoods, our families, our schooling, so on and so forth. In fact we became lovely friends and we had many a chat over either a glass of vino or a hot cuppa with many a home-made biccy.
I met many of your family members as you did mine and we shared many laughs, tears and good times to boot. another important feature was that I was able to discuss many incidents of my daughters' lives both good and bad and knew those chats were confidential.
Jan.s: Your husband and daughters, their husbands and children continued to buzz around with a great enthusiasm for life and both you and your husband, Nigel cooked up a storm!! Carrie, I’d like to begin with what both family, friendships and also travel mean to you!!.
Carrie: Family means the world to me, it is the essence of my life, my daughters, their husbands and their children all meld into one for me. Hardly a day goes by when I do not hear from one or two of the members. We seem to be a close family, helping each other out whenever it is needed, that doesn't mean we don't have our differences and those differences can be quite hostile at times. But that makes life interesting, volatile and challenging. We can discuss anything from sex to socks and we do at any time of the day or night. It is fun to note that the grandchildren (aged from 20 to 9 months) are always wanting a discussion about anything from university studies to school work, music or sport and I always try to comply.
As human beings we are social animals and I for one love my friends. They mean a lot to me and the diversity allows me to be many people. I have those buddies I discuss sewing, art, golf, men, domestic issues, uni studies, gardening, so on and so forth.
These differences in discussions with different people allow me to be very fulfilled and also let some women off the hook. One person doesn't have to listen to all my problems, so I can have different faces for different people. I think that is what happens as we get older, we become more discerning, clear about our ideals and can discuss our goals with others.
We have retired now and still the travel bug is with us. We have just completed an around Australia trip for fifteen months. And that was an amazing journey for me. I found for example a sense of liberation, freedom and a stress free period where I realised that for once in my life I was able to be totally free. This trip allowed us to do as we pleased whenever we felt like it. We were able to meet up with new friends, see new places and experience the great outdoors.
Jan.s: I’d like now to ask you more about the trip you took to the island of Zakynthos a number of years back with a couple of your friends.
Carrie: The journey to Zakynthos took place because my sister Kay and cousin Lyn, with friend Shirley all travelled to Greece and Italy. In particular Italy to find our ancestors' villages in the North of Italy near Turino. We found those villages of our great grandparents just beside the French Alps. That was a wonderful emotional experience.
Jan.s: Tell me a little more about the villages of your ancestors. Also about your grandparents.
Carrie: Oh the villages of my grandparents and what they were like. Well the villages are called Envie and Revello at the base of the French Alps bordering France and Italy. the villages are fifteen minutes apart and they used to walk the distance to visit each other. I think the industry they worked in were the olive trees.
Those villages today have buildings that were there when they lived there -- in fact the church they were married in has their records of birth baptism and marriage, quite amazing and wonderful to see. My sister and I were enthralled to see it all as it gave us a sense of belonging -- very important to our psychology of well being and identity.
The funny thing is that in 1970 they were 21 years of age and decided to leave Italy for Australia, for a better life. They travelled by horse and cart over the mountains and then on to Scotland where they boarded a boat to Australia. So you see my ancestors have been here for quite a long time.
After arriving here with one child, (my grandfather Pedro or Peter aged 2 years) they were granted land in Queensland near Cairns where they started a cane farm. They had many other children who in turn owned and ran cane farms in Queensland.
Jan.s: So after your trip to Italy you went onto Greece?
Carrie: We then travelled to Greece to visit another friend who lives close to Zakynthos where we met your friend, Janice and now mine, Bobbi Marchini. She welcomed us with open arms to her beautiful resort and olive grove. She was thrilled to meet us. We reminisced about the 60's and listened to music from those times sung by yourself and her. Once again an emotional time for us all.
Zakynthos is a beautiful island off the coast of Greece where many visitors from all over the world visit and enjoy what it has to offer and that is everything Greek. Just wonderful.
Jan.s: Carrie, I know you've done many other journeys since then and I'd love to hear more about them. Thank you for sharing with us!!
Top photo: Courtesy of Carrie Dique
Photos of Villa Christina courtesy of Christina Riganelli