Bella Italia, Bella Margherita!

The Mediterranean diet has long been linked to good health and increased longevity and, combined with quality home care from Southern Plus, has helped Northbridge local Margherita Da Campo continue enjoying life at home.

Margherita, who recently turned 90, moved from her native Italy to Western Australia in 1963. Like many Italian families at the time, she started working in the market gardens at Wanneroo but was soon in greater demand for cooking rather than growing the produce after being asked to cook at friends’ weddings.

With her burgeoning reputation as a good cook, she started working at ‘Pizza Casa’ near William Street, Perth, and was quickly entrusted by the owner to run the restaurant, complete with the perks of the job. She won prizes for her famous pizzas counting Channel 7 and Channel 9 television among well-known customers; and once made 700 cannelloni for the arrival of American specialists at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children.

Margherita, who has two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, attributes her longevity to hard work and a no-nonsense approach to life. She worked at Pizza Casa for many years, only stopping due to ill health. In 2010, she started getting domestic assistance and personal care services from Southern Plus and is now one of its longest standing clients.

Margherita’s regular support worker at Southern Plus is Shelly Saunders, supported by bi-lingual Tina Bova.

Shelly says: “Margherita’s zest for life and humour are infectious – she’s amazing for 90! She gets very animated talking about her life, family and love of food.”

In spite of failing sight, Margherita still takes great pride in making pizzas and pasta and insists that Shelly takes them home. Shelly continues: “Both Tina and I have been privileged to sample her culinary delights and she always wants to share an Italian coffee before we leave. She is also very house-proud and we are delighted to have helped her live at home for so long.

“We are very fond of Margherita and look forward to caring for her for a long time to come.”

After eight years, Margherita’s family say that Shelly is, quite simply, “part of the family”.

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