Day on wa­ter a hit with se­niors

Penrith Press - - FRONT PAGE - Kurt Gar­doll

SHE may be 92, but age is no bar­rier to Frances John­ston hav­ing fun.

The Emu Plains aged-care res­i­dent en­joyed a sail around Pen­rith Re­gatta Cen­tre on Thurs­day, ac­com­pa­nied by Mont­grove Col­lege stu­dent Philom­ena Peo­ples.

“It feels like I’ve been out on the wa­ter for a few hours. I was hav­ing such a great time,” Mrs John­ston said.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful day. Life’s great to­day.”

Mrs John­ston was among 350 res­i­dents from 17 aged­care fa­cil­i­ties who took part in a day of sail­ing in small wa­ter­craft and fish­ing.

The aquatic out­ing, or­gan­ised by Unit­ing, came af­ter a hugely suc­cess­ful fun day for sil­ver sailors last year.

Sail­abil­ity, as well as stu­dents from Mont­grove Col­lege, joined forces with Unit­ing and the NSW De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries to give the se­niors a chance to “re­new old pas­sions or try some­thing new’’.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a re­ally nice day with each other’s com­pany.

“There’s no bar­ri­ers for them to­day,” said Unit­ing’s head of res­i­den­tial op­er­a­tions, Mar­i­lyn Jolly.

Like Mrs John­ston, Emu Plains res­i­dent Dav­ina Pear­son, 80, was an­other keen sailor, af­ter en­joy­ing the day out last Novem­ber.

Mrs Pear­son even fell out of the boat when ex­it­ing her ride, but laughed it off.

“It’s all about the mem­o­ries, even if I make a fool of my­self,’’ she said.

“It’s such a lovely day for it, and a lot of fun.”

Frances John­ston, 92, of Ed­in­glassie at Emu Plains, with Philom­ena Peo­ples, 15, of Mont­grove Col­lege, and (in­set) Dav­ina Pear­son, 80, sail­ing with Mikayla Jay, 16. Pic­tures: Justin San­son

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