Life's Legacy

Life's Legacy
Retirement Living

Doreen Langoulant has been part of the Bentley Park retirement village for 10 years. Now, at 93 years of age, she reflects proudly on her family life and their contributions to our communities. 

Born in 1929, Doreen grew up in the small WA country town of Yorkrakine in a bustling farming household. 
As one of four siblings, milking cows were part of everyday life, “We would help our father to separate the cream and gather the dairy produce to put on trains headed to Perth, but mum would always have a bowl of her own to put on the stove. There was nothing nicer than having sponge on the weekend with our fresh cream on top!” 

Doreen’s father eventually went from farmer to politician, and in 1975 Sir Leslie Charles Diver was knighted for his service. 

All four kids went to the state school in Yorkrakine where Doreen fondly remembers getting on the horse drawn sulky to get to and from school. On rainy days, they would use wheat bags from home held above their heads and wagga for their knees to stay dry, “Things were certainly different back then!” She said smiling. 

At age 16, Doreen knew she wanted to help others and became interested in nursing, “I started my training at the Kellerberrin hospital, where I was born. I later transferred to Fremantle Hospital where I completed my general training and begun midwifery at King Edward Hospital.” 

Good friends of Doreen’s shared a house together in North Perth, which she would stay at from time to time, “One week I went over to celebrate a 21st birthday and at the party I got chatting to one of their cousins, Peter.” 
Peter and Doreen fell in love, and later married in 1951. 

Subsequently, Doreen ended her time in the workforce, “In those days once you got married, you were no longer able to work, so I sadly had to finish nursing. But I’m proud to say that I delivered 100 babies over the course of my career.” 

Doreen’s father gifted the couple 200 pounds which bought themselves a block of land where they built their family home. Peter remained working as a successful accountant, while Doreen stayed home to raise their three children, Bruce, John and Julie. 

Today, Bruce is the father of three daughters including Ashley, who contracted meningitis at three months old, “Bruce is now an advocate for helping other parents in the same position,” Doreen shared, “He started a foundation at Fiona Stanley Hospital and is Chairman of the Meningitis Centre Australia.” 

As life has it, Bruce’s eldest daughter, Jess, now lives in North Perth with her husband, on the same street where her grandparents first met! 

Doreen’s other son, John, found his way into Commerce, later becoming the WA Under Treasurer. Now John is the Agent General for WA in the United Kingdom.

Following their grandmother’s footsteps are Julie’s two children who both landed roles in the medical field, “My granddaughter now works as a highly trained nurse and my grandson studied to become an anaesthetist, now working at a hospital in Sydney,” Doreen said.

While most of Doreen’s extended family have made it to Perth and beyond, her siblings have kept their ties to their beloved country town.

“My eldest sister, Diana, still lives there and at 99 years of age, does all of her own housework! And my brother, Fredrick, took over the property from our father.”

Reflecting on all the years of life she has experienced; its clear family has been at the heart of it all. Seeing the Langoulant name be passed from generation to generation has been one of Doreen’s proudest pleasures in life, and seeing the similarities in her family’s individual journeys speaks to the strength of their bond and connection.

“My family is just wonderful, we’ve always stayed together,” Doreen says.

Before SwanCare, Doreen first heard of our founder, Richard Cleaver, when he was running for parliament, “There were posters in our front yard and pamphlets in our letterbox. Fortunately, he got in. Now, here I am at SwanCare!”

“Bentley Park has everything you need. We’re very lucky to have the shops and hairdressers, as well as the library. I also enjoy the clubs and groups; I’ve made some great friends playing cards, lawn bowls and being in the choir. I think for 93 I do pretty well!”

Just like her family, Doreen says the support and sense of community in the Bentley Park village is very important to her, “I would tell anyone to move to SwanCare, it’s the place to be.”

Thank you, Doreen, for sharing your family stories with us. We’re proud to have you part of our family, here at SwanCare.


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