A few Living Gems Toowoomba deposit holders enjoyed a day of mini golf in the sun. The weather was beautiful and the group had lots of laughs.
A 40-year friendship that started in a Sydney park has inspired Living Gems Ruby Gardens residents Terry and Alan Gent to Shave for a Cure.
Terry remembers that she was lonely after recently arriving in Australia in 1969 and went on a walk to the park, where she met Pauline.
“We started talking and that was that,” says Terry. “We have been friends ever since through thick and thin, it has been a wonderful friendship.”
Pauline has battled and beat cancer before, but this time it is in her bowels and it is terminal.
Terry wanted to do something in solidarity with Pauline and decided to shave her head before going to Sydney to visit.
“That will give her a bit of a laugh,” says Terry. “We haven’t told her that we are doing this at all.”
She was going down to the local hairdresser without any fanfare, but friends at the Beenleigh Bowls Club suggested she do it for a cause, so she got in contact with the Cancer Council.
Adding further inspiration was Terry’s ‘baby’ sister, Christine, who died of bowel cancer 10 years ago at much too young an age.
“It can strike anyone, and you never know when it will happen,” she says.
Friends at the bowls club and other residents at Ruby have rallied around the cause.
The bowls club has donated $100, and so has Living Gems. Raising a large amount of money was never the point, and there have been a lot of fundraisers at Ruby by Living Gems recently, so Terry set her target at $500.
“It wasn’t about money; it really is a labour of love for my girlfriend. She has had cancer before and beat it, but she has it again and it is terminal.”
The couple had their hair removed by a local hairdresser who donated her time on 28 July at the Ruby Gardens clubhouse in front of dozens of fellow residents and the Logan city Mayor Luke Smith.
On the evening, Terry and Alan raised $750. Combined with the amount raised online, the total is just shy of $1,000!
Terry is the oldest of seven children including three brothers and two sisters.
She and Alan left England in 1969, two years after they were married, bound for Australia as “10-pound Poms” as they were known.
Terry was only able to see her youngest sister a few times – every nine years or so, because of the cost of travelling to the UK – and at the time of Christine’s death, the first time the entire family reunited for the first time in 36 years.
Remembering what it was like to grow up in a council estate in Brighton by the Sea, Terry says it was a lot of fun.
“There was a big garden and everyone would play in the street. It has changed so much now. The park has been filled in and there are houses on it now.”
Alan and Terry wanted to buy a house in the early days after their marriage, but the prices were going up faster than they could save.
“Allan said, ‘how about we go to Australia?’ I had never been outside Brighton when I met him, so he told me about kangaroos and koalas. Because his parents had lived there, it was easy for us to get tickets.”
They paid 10 pounds each and nothing for the kids, and sailed on the Achille Lauro (which was later hijacked by the PLO in 1984, before sinking due to fire in 1994) for five weeks.
“There were no problems when we were on the boat though,” says Terry.
Along the way, the boat stopped at Malta, Marcita, Naples, Tenerife and Melbourne and Terry made the most of her time at each location.
She remembers landing in Sydney: “It was so how when we arrived in Sydney that I melted?”
The couple stayed at Villawood for 10 days – “that was truly, truly awful” – and then got a flat.
Alan signed up for the housing commission scheme the day he stepped off the boat and three years later he and Terry had a house in Sydney, which they bought for $13,000.
They later moved to Windsor and when the kids left home and Alan and Terry wanted to see more of Australia, so they moved to Western Australia, where they stayed for 20 years. “We saw everything there, north, south, every which way.”
A fortuitous trip to Ballina brought them in contact with Living Gems. While Terry and Alan didn’t like the feel of Ballina, they did see there was a seniors expo on at a local club and they went for lunch.
They found the Living Gems stand and liked what they saw.
“We wouldn’t live anywhere else,” says Terry.
Residents can expect to see a different look from Terry into the future, as she plans to stop dying her hair upon its return.
“For 40 years of my life I have been colouring my hair, and whatever colour it comes back as, that is how it is going to stay. If my girlfriend Pauline can live with stubble, I can live with that.”
On Saturday 24 June, Opal by Living Gems hosted the Neil Diamond Spectacular, with 150 people attending the sold out tribute concert.
Annette Reberger, who has been living at Opal by Living Gems for just three months, heads up the event committee at the resort, and was thrilled to see the success of the sold-out event.
Living Gems Resorts in Toowoomba and Caboolture have shown their support for the Australia Cancer Council and hosted Australia’s biggest morning tea on May 25, and May 31 respectively.
Guests at our Caboolture resort were able to raise $259 for the cause. Residents had a great time with a variety of planned games and activities that helped boost donations on the day.
In Toowoomba, Club Glenvale also hosted a morning tea. Guests enjoyed a selection of sweet treats, savoury canapes, tea and plenty of coffee.
Overall both resorts saw a successful turnout. It proved to be a wonderful morning out for attendees, and all for a fantastic cause. Plans for next year’s event are already in the works!
On May 25, residents from Living Gems by Ruby at Eagleby came together to host Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea in support of the Australian Cancer Council. The event was a huge success, raising over $1,500 dollars.
Committee members Beryl Suter and Heather Redman jointly came up with the idea to host an event and worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything ran smoothly. This was the first time current committee members had taken part in the national morning tea, and they were overwhelmed by the turnout.
Beryl mentioned that a successful event would involve about forty people – but that they would panic if attendance climbed to eighty. They were in disbelief when numbers reached 160, with some guests travelling from nearby residences to be part of the day. After the final count, the actual turnout surpassed expectations with over 200 people showing up armed with a plate of food and donations at the ready.
“We just kept advertising the event at meals, bingo and social evenings – and attendance exploded!” said Beryl.
Beryl and Heather were also able to attract support from local sponsors IGA Eagleby & Woolworths Beenleigh, which both supplied food vouchers to help cater the day. The Beenleigh Cheesecake shop also came on board and donated an assortment of cakes.
To help raise additional funds, Beryl and Heather ran a raffle with gift packs of wine, chocolates, cosmetics and jewellery. The raffles proved popular with residents.
When asked why they wanted to support the cause, Redman noted that,
“It’s important to us, because everyone knows someone who has been touched by Cancer. Many of our residents, friends and family have been affected. We wanted to do what we could to to support”
On Wednesday May 3, our Toowoomba residents were invited to enjoy a light lunch and private viewing of the national carriage collection at Cobb+Co Museum. The museum features some of Australia’s finest horse-drawn vehicles including farm wagons, delivery carts and the iconic Landau carriage.
This interesting collection features approximately 50 of Australia’s finest of horse-drawn vehicles. Toowoomba residence had a private viewing light lunch and refreshments on Wednesday May 3rd.
Our Living Gems Caboolture 50-plus resort is having an Open Day on Saturday May 6th. The day starts at 10am and finishes at 1pm. Drop in, say hello, and have a look around!
176 Torrens Rd, Caboolture South
1800 288 918
Living Gems Caboolture has it all. Enjoy life in a community of like-minded people, make friends and have fun. Nature has provided the surrounds, Living Gems creates the active retirement lifestyle.
Homeowners and their guests have exclusive use of a magnificent swimming pool and spa, a stylish country club featuring a beautiful ballroom with a theatre stage and a luxurious cinema. Sports facilities include a tennis court, a covered bowling green and a gym. Creative people can hone their talents in the art and craft studio, the music room and the fully equipped workshop.