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Celebrating 25 years at Meadow Springs

Celebrating 25 years at Meadow Springs

It's fair to say that RAAFA's Meadow Springs Estate resident Allan Elliott has a long history with the popular community, given he largely project-managed its construction back in the 1990s.

At that time, Allan was the General Manager of RAAFA (WA Division), before stepping aside from the role and taking on the responsibility of project manager for the new Meadow Springs estate in 1998.

"When I started in the job it was all just bush around here," says Allan, who has been a resident at the popular estate along with his wife Clorene for the entire 25 years it has been around.

"You can't imagine it now, but back then there were lots of kangaroos and rabbits around, and no houses at all.

"And then I was here when the first bulldozer came in, it was actually very hilly ground so the first thing that needed to happen was for it all to be flattened right out."

As the project manager, Allan watched the very first home to be constructed at the estate, and also nearly the very last.

"It was such an interesting project, we started building house number one and then when I retired house number 240 was just being completed," Allan recalls.

"In those days the building time was around 14 or 15 weeks, but then we started having a shortage of tradespeople and construction of the new homes started to slow, meaning it could take anything up to five months to finish a home.

"But the homes were still as popular as ever, and as soon as one was finished residents literally moved straight in, pretty much immediately."

One standout memory for Allan was when the first office assistant on the estate, a young woman named Vanessa, found she had a bit of time on her hands.

"At that time, a trench needed to be dug to connect the power from what is now the wellness centre to Port Rush Parade," recalls Allan.

"It was quite an unusual sight to see Vanessa and her work colleague Mel working knee-high in a trench and digging," he laughs. "But they did a great job and, sure enough, soon after they finished the trench the electricity and telephone was all connected up."

According to Allan, working on the project was a bit like putting together a huge jigsaw puzzle, as the main road - Port Rush Parade - wasn't at that time constructed, nor was any of the estate's infrastructure, including the clubhouse.

"When CIorene and I moved in, we first lived at the wellness centre, which was going to be the caretaker's cottage, but after six months we moved into house number 58," explains Allan, who has been married to his wife - the love of his life - for more than 66 years.

"Back then there was a gate on the road over the bridge for the golf course which was locked at night and the builders would unlock in the mornings.

"And even at that stage, there were kangaroos and rabbits to deal with when securing the gate," he recalls.

"Even since those first early days, this estate has always been a really friendly, welcoming community. Clorene and I have always loved living here, and to know all of the history as we approach the 25th anniversary is really pretty special too."

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