Village welcomes wanderer home
OVER a cup of tea in his Rossmoyne Waters Village residence, retired 89-yearold Uniting Church minister John Phillipson says with a smile “there are no coincidences; an event in someone else’s life in the 1940s has led me to this lovely cottage and the place I now call home”.
“Our wonderful village is host to some of the most open-hearted folk I’ve ever met, from all walks of life and spectrum of beliefs, and we all have a story of how we got here.”
John’s story began when his wife-to-be Errol met her Methodist Sunday School and Junior Christian Endeavour teachers as a young student at classes in 1940s Subiaco.
More than 60 years later she and John, then married for more than 50 years, reconnected with those teachers and began visiting them until they passed away.
John remembers their little home fondly.
In answering the call of his ministry, John and Errol had wandered far and wide, living and working for decades in cities and towns throughout WA’S South-west, Wheatbelt, eastern Goldfields and Perth.
He was superintendent minister of the church’s Eastern Goldfields Mission before ultimately becoming chaplain to all Uniting Church ministers between Perth and Augusta for nine years.
“Errol’s old teachers had led interesting lives too, so we had many stories to share,” John said.
“We’d pop over for tea and a great chat quite regularly, but you know it’s the oddest thing, I always remember thinking how quaint their living room was.”
Sadly things were about to change when Errol became ill with dementia.
“We struggled on with me as my beautiful Errol’s full-time carer at our home in Leeming, but in the end it was just too much for both of us,” John said.
“The doctors advised that Errol would eventually need to go into care so we registered at two places nearby; a Uniting Church run facility and here at Adventist Care’s Rossmoyne Waters.
“I’d begun my life as a Methodist minister at 19 and only became a Uniting Church minister after we and the Presbyterian and Congregational churches united in 1977.
“So we were very comfortable in multi-denominational environments and Rossmoyne Waters’ chief executive Gary made it clear the village is open to all, whether you’re a person of faith or not, and irrespective of your faith.
“He’s one of life’s true gentlemen; he knew we were in desperate need and one day the phone rang and it was Gary saying ‘John, I have a place for you and Errol if you’d like to come and see it’.
“Well, can you believe Gary walked us over to a cottage and we stood in the living room and realised it was the very place we used to come to visit Errol’s teachers years earlier.
“That made her so happy and when I look back I think it was always meant to be.
“A few years later when Errol transferred to the care facility it was only a few steps from the cottage, so I could spend many hours a day with her making sure she enjoyed her favourite meals and treats right to the end.
“Today I have many lovely neighbours so I don’t feel alone and I’ve convinced an old mate I’ve known for 65 years to come and live here as there’s a couple of villas available now.
“One way or another we all end up where we are supposed to be; for me that’s right here.”
Rossmoyne Waters’ chief executive Gary Blagden said more than half of Stage One of the adjoining Australis Apartments complex was also now called home by happy new residents.
Interest in the remaining 25 two and three-bedroom apartments, from $475,000-$845,000 is heightening.
“We’re encouraging people to reach out now to our village manager Daniel Gallop and experience the complex’s apartments and amenities first-hand,”
“All apartments are lifelong lease with three choices of deferred management fee geared to suit individual circumstances.
“We’re crafting a harmonious, positive community here and we’re doing it in style.”
For more information about Australis at Rossmoyne Waters, call Daniel on 9253 4456 or visit www. rossmoynewaters.com.au.
Above: Australis Apartments. Below: Rossmoyne Waters Village resident John Phillipson says he’s now exactly where he’s supposed to be.