This is the story of how an old bloke called Reggie inspired his hairdressing granddaughter to open a teahouse…
Reggie’s story starts quite tragically; one of 14 kids, he and his siblings were orphaned when he was only 3 years old and the children were passed around family members and never really settled into a permanent home.
That’s why, aged only 16 years old, Reggie decided to join the Royal Australian Army and head off to World War Two, as, in his own words “at least he’d be fed properly and get a bed every night”.
Thankfully, Reggie survived the war and returned to Australia where he got married, had two kids and lived a life much like any other.
As he got on a bit, Reggie moved in with his daughter and we’ll continue the story from his granddaughter Lorrae's perspective:
“Reggie lived with my mum for over 20 years and every time I took my kids over to visit he’d always say ‘let’s get the kettle on for a cuppa’.”
“His favourite thing to do was to have a cup of tea and a chat, he was a very sociable person and even though he never received a proper education, he was a self-taught artist and some of his work is still up around Warrnambool.”
“Every time he made a new friend - and there were always new people to meet! - Reggie would give them a piece of his artwork, he was such a giving person, a real gentleman.”
“I was working as a hairdresser, but always collected tea whenever I travelled, I had a real passion for it. After Reggie died, my kids and I lost such a large part of our life, so I decided that to open the teahouse as a way of keeping him around.”
“For me, Reggie’s Tea House represents that spirit of a cuppa and a chat, a relaxed pastime that often gets lost in today’s world.”