When you visit a Freedom Care Community by Aveo, you will more than likely bump into some interesting characters. One of these is Mr Jack Blinco.
A long-term supporter of the Labor Party, a volunteer for numerous community causes and one of Freedom Tanah Merah by Aveo’s newest residents, Jack has dedicated his life to the service of others.
We sat down with Jack to find out more about his life, the amazing work he has done in the wider community, and how he has settled into life in his new home.
By all accounts you have lived a very fulfilling life. Could you tell us about your involvement with the Labor Party?
“I first joined the Labor Party in 1981 with a desire to give back and help others. I started by campaigning, doing letterbox deliveries and erecting signs for Labor election candidates. This eventually led to me supporting street stalls and assisting on election days, even being able to work alongside members like Tom Burns, Paul Lucas, the late Con Sciacca, Don Randall, the Honorary Frank Selman, and Peter Cummings at the council in Wynnum.
“I received my Long Service Certificate in 2007, then Life Membership in 2014. I spent 37 years supporting the Labor party all up.”
You have also spent a lot of time volunteering and giving back to the community. Could you share some stories about that and some of the causes you’ve donated your time to?
“I first became a Justice of the Peace around 1993, and spent most of my time out in the community marrying people, giving advice and working on wills. I didn’t really like this work so much. In 1995, I became a Commissioner of Declaration, which I enjoyed a lot more. People would get my details through the office, and they would visit me day and night. I was always on call and willing to help others out. I eventually retired from JP work in 2019.
“I volunteered for Meals on Wheels for 10 years. This was the most rewarding job – providing meals to ex-diggers and the poor who were struggling to make their own. I formed a great friendship with my driver, Ray, and we shared our Christmas party as a way of thanking the workers for all their hard work.
“I also volunteered for GROW, a community-based mental health organisation that provides counselling for those struggling with their mental health, and briefly worked for Red Cross in Wynnum when they first opened the store in 2009.
“I love volunteering and being able to help the government, organisations and people give support to where it is needed most.”
What convinced you that Freedom Tanah Merah by Aveo was right for you?
“I felt that it was time to retire, but I still wanted a unit of my own. I have support from NDIS, Adult Guardian and Public Trust, which helped. I looked around at a few retirement communities, but eventually decided Freedom Tanah Merah by Aveo was the best option because of the community and lifestyle. It has a heated pool, for both summer and winter, and I love my unit – it is my forever home. Plus, the community is in a great location. I am halfway between Brisbane and the coast, and Logan Hyperdome is conveniently just down the road.”
How are you settling into community life? Have you had much of a chance to involve yourself in life?
“I love my new home. I am fully set up and just about have all the furniture I want and need. Plus, I am growing my own veggies in the community garden, including lettuce, basil, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, radishes and spinach.
“Because I have been busy moving into the unit, juggling NDIS and furniture shopping, I have only joined events when I have time available. Now I have officially settled, I intend to get more involved in the lifestyle program.”
What is the one thing that has surprised you most about life at Freedom Tanah Merah by Aveo? Do you have any advice for someone looking to move?
“The support that I have received from all the lovely residents and staff. For someone looking to move to a Freedom Care Community, I think they should because of the support, kindness and service you receive. The people are all great and welcoming and there’s so many great lifestyle activities I intend to participate in over the coming months – especially the happy hours!”
Click below to find out more about Jack's community, Freedom Tanah Merah by Aveo.