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Crossroads couple moves to Australia for four years

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Nov. 15, 2011 at 5:15 a.m.
Updated Nov. 16, 2011 at 5:16 a.m.

Lola Castro, commercial and business development and treasury management vice president with The First Victoria National Bank, is moving Thursday to Australia with her husband, Gilbert Castro. Gilbert Castro was offered a four-year assignment as a chemical engineer with Alcoa, Inc.

Lola and Gilbert Castro will bid Victoria an Australian farewell, or "Hooroo," this week.

The Crossroads couple are moving to Australia for four years, slated to reside in Western Australia's Halls Head near the Indian Ocean coastline.

It's the second Down Under adventure for the Castros, who lived previously in Melbourne, South Australia.

At the time Gilbert Castro was an employee of Mobil Chemical. Current four year assignment is with Alcoa of Australia Limited with the Alcoa Pinjarra Refinery in Western Australia.

Lola Castro, commercial and business development and treasury management vice president with The First Victoria National Bank, said the departure from Texas is bittersweet.

"We're both from Texas; this is home," she said. "But Australia is a wonderful country with great hospitality that reminds me of Texas. The culture is fantastic and there's a lot of diversity."

Lola Castro leaves behind a slew of community and humanitarian projects. The financial executive recently exited her post as president of the Victoria Professional Express Network, an affiliate of the American Business Women's Association. She was also a volunteer with the Sunrise Rotary Club, and served as a Victoria Chamber of Commerce Ambassador in 2008 and 2010. She served on the boards of the United Way and Victoria Education & Business Coalition, where she mentored children at Hopkins Elementary School.

"I was very involved in the community," said Lola Castro, a native of Goliad. "We never thought to leave again until my husband got the call six months ago."

It took about six months for the Castros to finalize permanent work visas and organize the international shipping and 30-day quarantine of their Jack Russell Terrier, Texas.

"We're certainly going to miss the family closeness that we've had. It will be hard without them, and it will be our first Thanksgiving apart. We'll even miss their dog, Texas," Lola's sister and Goliad resident, Patricia Morales, said. "We just hope they have a successful four years and come back."

Tuesday was Lola's final day at First Victoria, but said she plans to work with an international bank after she settles in Halls Head.

"We're excited to be in a different part of Australia and travel around the country," she said. "When something like this happens, you've got to grab it and take it and enjoy it while you can."

Lola departs Victoria Thursday to join her husband abroad.

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