Vil­lage wel­comes wan­derer home

Canning Gazette - - ROSSMOYNE WATERS -

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,”

Gary said.

“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.

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