An artistic soul was unleashed upon the Great Lakes when June Cooke stepped through the doors of BaptistCare Kularoo Centre.
June, who has resided on the sandy shores of Forster for more than 10 years, has always been an avid painter, but it wasn’t until recently that she realised another artistic dream.
“When I moved here in 2017 I suddenly developed this urge to start writing poetry,” June explained, smiling at the thought.
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“Writing my rhymes and doing my drawing keeps me occupied and out of mischief.
“I like to keep busy, to make use of my spare time, I don’t like to be idle.”
June explained she started writing one day and never looked back, and now has an exercise book full to the brim with poems.
“My poetry is about anything and everything,” she said.
“My exercise book is full of relaxation poems, as well as poems I have written for people and occasions.
“I’ve only just discovered my creative side from 2017 to the present day.
“I just thought one day I might do some sketching and write some poems.”
June’s painting has been a long term hobby, something she has worked on and enjoyed over many years whilst she watched her children grow up and build their lives.
“I draw trees and landscapes mostly,” she said.
“I’ve always enjoyed spending time with my family and watching my children grow up, and my painting was a way to preserve that, now my poetry and sketching is too.”
The social butterfly of BaptistCare Kularoo Centre, June also loves knitting, playing cards, bowls, and going on outings.
Essentially, if something is going on, she is there enjoying it.
Borne in West Ryde, June has lived in all sorts of places around the country.
“I’ve enjoyed many different homes throughout my life,” she said.
“I’ve lived in Bega, and I was in Victoria for a while too, now I’m in Forster, and I think this is where I will stay.”
June was married for more than 50 years, and lived with her husband in Bega as their children grew up.
“I Started painting in the 1960s, it’s always been a passion.
“My husband was a security officer, and when he was away at work I used to paint at home.
“I wasn’t so much into sports or music, I always loved to be artistic.”
With her son recently retired to Pottsville, and her daughter living at Rainbow Flat, June sees plenty of her family, and is surrounded by friends and creative inspiration.
“They love seeing me sketching, and my daughter encourages me with my poetry,” she explained.