The Faces of Fairview Village – Lois & Bert

Lois (Cropley) Silcock recounts her deep family connections with Fairview Village.

Having provided for the needs of thousands of ageing residents over six decades, it’s no surprise Fairview Village hosts a spiders web of social and family connections within its walls – some spanning generations.

Decades-old friends now live down the hallway from each other; current staff care for childhood babysitters, and financial donors past are now residents themselves.

Cropley Wing resident Lois Silcock exemplifies this rich tapestry of connections; her residential living area was named after her second cousin Percy Cropley, one of Fairview Village’s most generous donors.

His money, donated in 1963 and matched three-fold by supplementary government funds, enabled the construction of Fairview Village’s second wing.

“He had no family, so chose himself to give it to Fairview, with the knowledge that whatever he gave would be tripled by government money to build anything “and that’s how this wing was built,” Lois explained.

Lois’ husband Keith Silcock “a well known Warragul identity and local shoe shop proprietor“ spent many years on the Fairview Village board, his contribution later attracting an appointment as Life Governor of Fairview Homes for the Aged in 1997.

Lois herself was instrumental in the community-led fundraising boon during Fairview Village’s establishing years; as a member of the Women’s Auxiliary, she sold cakes and home wares in an immensely popular annual fete store.

And the connections continue: Lois’ first cousin Ray Cropley currently lives in Fairview Village’s independent living units, visiting Lois regularly as did her brother Ben Cropley, “We’re all buddies in here now too – A lot of Cropley descendants have lived here.”

Reflecting back on Fairview Village’s founding period 60 years ago, Lois said she couldn’t imagine the West Gippsland community without it.

“It’s just such a wonderful history here, and it’s 60th anniversary – goodness me! Fairview Village has just been a wonderful asset to the town really. It goes far and wide, what would we do without it?”

Bert's Stormy Fairview Introduction

Any given day you'll catch Cropley Wing resident Bert Rance triking around Fairview Village.

Beyond the trove of rich family connections within Fairview Village’s Cropley Wing lay another interesting chapter.

For Fairview Village resident Bert Rance, his first memories of the Cropley Wing are somewhat “stormier” than most, harking back to one blustery evening in 2002

“I was in the SES that night when this ‘mini tornado’ tore through Warragul, and Fairview village got the brunt of it,” Bert recalled his fateful introduction to Fairview Village.

Powerful winds had lashed at the Village throughout the evening, perched high up on one of Warragul’s highest hills.

While resident’s accounts of the damage vary, there’s unanimous agreement on one fact, a roof section was torn off the Cropley Wing.

“The roof came off, we were called and up we came. So we got the roof straightened out, called the builders in, they were working to no end in the morning to get if fixed.”

Fourteen years later, Bert, aged 87, is now a Cropley Wing resident with his wife Doreen, where he remains a member of the SES and one of Fairview Village’s most active community service advocates.