Senior Citizen of the Year reflects on city’s legacy
2021's Senior Citizen of the Year Pamela Lane has endured both good and bad experiences during almost 30 years living in Ipswich.
She played a key role in keeping Ipswich Hospital operating during the devastating 2011 floods, and has played witness to the CBD's continual transformation.
Despite the city's many transitional periods, Ms Lane has remained a beloved figure eager to support her adopted home by any means possible.
Her town pride was again evident on Wednesday during a ceremony to mark the city's historic 161-year anniversary.
Mayor Teresa Harding and fellow 2021 Ipswich Citizen of the Year Glen Smith were also in attendance.
Now happily retired, Ms Lane first moved to the city from Toowoomba in 1993 to take up as Director of Nursing at Ipswich Hospital.
"When I first came here, (the town) was in a bit of a slump I think, financially," she said.
"The houses when I first drove into Ipswich, you could tell they hadn't had a paint job.
"That was one of the first things I noticed about the physicality of the town."
Ms Lane said she had no idea what to expect when moving to Ipswich, though its camaraderie quickly grew on her.
"I really liked the people and the job I had, so I stayed here. I retired here in 2012.
"The town has a nice feel to it, and the people … the people make any place."
"This is my home now, I've got a nice home up in the hills and I'm involved in a range of local groups."
She said a variety of factors contributed to her decision to permanently call Ipswich home.
"The size (of the town), it's a good one," she said.
"The hospital was also a good size between 300 to 350 beds too.
"You could still know people in a town this size."
Ms Lane said the town had come a long way in recent years, commending Ipswich City Council for its continued efforts.
"I think as the town grows, it certainly challenges things," she said.
Cr Harding said plenty had changed across the city since its municipality in 1860.
"Positioned as it is between a major production area and the access point for interstate and overseas markets, our city was destined to be a population hub and a centre for advanced manufacturing from early in its history," Mayor Harding said.
She said its early origins as a centre for mining and manufacturing had contributed to a rich heritage.
"We have around 7,500 heritage sites and many more incredible experiences that have made up the lives of the families contributing to the Ipswich's story over the years."
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.