Author archives: Admin

Carrington Games 2018

27.03.2018 Admin News No Comments

To celebrate the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Carrington recently celebrated it’s inaugural Carrington Games. Residents from all four of our residential care facilities competed in teams in modified versions of the Commonwealth Sports we all know and love.

The residents tried their hand at Volleyball, Basketball, Golf, Javelin, and Shotput.

These activities were designed by our lifestyle team to promote healthy living, with our Allied Health team supervising the running and facilitating of the activities on the day.

The facility managers rounded out the festivities with an egg and spoon time trial obstacle course, with Jacqui from Werombi Court taking out first place. All participants received a certificate of achievement and a delicious lunch served up by Paul and the Hotel Services team.

Thank you to all the staff who were involved in making this occasion such a special one for our residents!!

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Grasmere Terrace celebrates a new NRL season

21.03.2018 Admin News No Comments

It’s that time of year again where residents of Grasmere Terrace cheer on their favourite NRL football teams.

Residents have yet again joined in the NRL football competition for 2018 and have encouraged their peers to join in with them, some say it’s a guessing competition and you also have those who take it more seriously studying the teams and watching the games.

Last years all residents involved were presented with certificates of participation by the CEO of Carrington, Raad Richards

The winners of 2017 were Alan Goss & Bev Ackling who received their name on the perpetual trophy which is displayed within the facility. Gold, silver & bronze medallions engraved with winners names were also given out by Raad Richards to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

Good luck to all residents involved in the footy tipping competition this year!


Fun at the Camden Show

19.03.2018 Admin News No Comments

The Camden Show is always a big event on Carrington’s calendar. This year, we were proud to be Champion Sponsor of the show, which is always a great event for the local community. This year, Carrington had two stalls at the show. The first was our information stall, which gave members of the community a chance to chat to some of our friendly staff about the services that Carrington offers, as well as current employment and volunteering opportunities.

Camden Show 2018_3  Camden Show 2018_1

The second stall that we had this year was in the Style Pavilion, where we had the opportunity to showcase our famous scones, as well as drinks, lamingtons, and some other sweet treats. We are particularly proud of our first place win in the Country Style Pavilion Design Category. Thanks to all our staff and volunteers who put in so much hard work to make our involvement at this year’s show such a success.

Camden Show Scones_1  Camden Show 2018_2

Our residents weren’t left out of the fun! Some of our Werombi Court residents enjoyed a visit to the show on the Friday. From sighting giant pumpkins, to winning prizes at ‘The Clowns’, to eating all sorts of yummy fair food, it was a fun day for all. The dressage events were a sight to see, as were the rosters, chickens, ducks and geese on display. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let us take the baby chickens home!

Graham was feeling patriotic and got a Rabbitoh’s tattoo (fake of course!), whilst Barry ‘taste tested’ almost every soft serve vendor. Jean and Tony always enjoy the scones with some fresh jam and cream. Maureen purchased some chocolate show bags at her families request- all in all it was a fantastic day out for the residents. Pictured below are some of Werombi Court’s residents.

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Grasmere Terrace also brought some of their residents along to check out the horse riding events, the arts and crafts, and some of our scones!

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An afternoon spent baking…

28.02.2018 Admin News No Comments

We already know that music can play such a huge role in reminiscence, but did you know that our sense of smell can also evoke certain memories?

Residents and staff from Paling Court recently spent the afternoon coming together to bake mini cherry pies. All the residents had a turn at stirring, rolling, and filling the pies before they were placed in the oven for baking. For many of our residents, these actions would have been very familiar from when they were younger. The baked cherry aroma that came through the facility as a result of the combined efforts of the residents was absolutely mouth watering!

Afterwards, all of the residents involved enjoyed a hot cherry pie with cream, with most going back for seconds! The residents of Paling Court are working on their own recipe booklet, and are especially looking forward to more cooking experiences to share with each other.

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A Milestone for a true Camdenite!

23.02.2018 Admin News 1 Comment

For Brenda Weiberle, the internet, email, fast food, and mobile phones weren’t even in existence when she was born in February of 1918. The world was a very different place, with the German Army making their final push on the Western Front of Europe after almost four years of War with the Allied Powers.

On Friday 23 February 2018, Brenda celebrated her 100th Birthday with her friends and family in Mary Mackillop, one of Carrington’s residential care facilities. Raad Richards, Carrington’s Chief Executive and senior staff were also in attendance, and wished Brenda health and happiness for the years ahead. He also presented her with flowers, a cake, and letters containing well wishes from the Queen, the Governor General, and the Prime Minister.

Born and raised in Elderslie, Brenda went to school at Camden Primary, and then travelled first to Liverpool, then Parramatta for high school. Brenda would commute during this time, leaving home at 7.00am to catch the train and often not returning until 7.00pm in the evening.

Upon completing her high school education, Brenda began a three year course in Nursery Schooling at Woolloomooloo, travelling from Camden each day for the entire three years. She was offered a teaching position in Surry Hills after completing her course. Eventually, after a move to North Sydney Prep, Brenda was promoted to Director of the facility.

Brenda lived through the Great Depression, but because of how sufficient the farm that she lived on was, it did not have a great effect on her or her family at the time.

Brenda married Jack Weiberle in 1942. Jack was a sergeant in the army during this time, and both he and Brenda remained in North Sydney until the end of the War. After the War, they moved back to Elderslie. Brenda worked on the family vineyard, growing and sending table grapes to markets in Sydney.

Brenda had two children, John and Julie. Julie unfortunately passed away in 2008. Brenda is much loved by her 5 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren- she takes a great interest in each and every one of them.

Some of her fondest memories from the past 100 years include the following:

  • The flooding of the Nepean River, where her father would row a boat across the river into Camden, as the only other way to transport people and mail was via Picton at the time
  • Sulky rides with her mother to visit Camelot for afternoon tea with Miss Faithfull-Anderson
  • Seeing the very first truck come into Camden- where previously it had just been horses and buggies!
  • Being at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and walking across it when it was opened to the public
  • Seeing the incredible growth of transport over the past century, and seeing the first airplanes land at Camden airport
  • Setting out on countless trips around Australia, and internationally
  • Sailing with her father from Sydney to Broken Bay on the yacht, or just sailing around Sydney harbour

From all of us here at Carrington, Happy Birthday Brenda! Here’s to many more years of good health and happiness.

Brenda celebrating with her family

Brenda celebrating with her family

The incredible cake that Brenda, her family, and other residents all enjoyed

The incredible cake that Brenda, her family, and other residents all enjoyed

Raad Richards, Carrington's Chief Executive

Raad Richards, Carrington’s Chief Executive, reflects on some of the memories and highlights of Brenda’s life so far, and presents her with letters from the Queen, Governor General, and Prime Minister

Brenda with Carrington's Chief Executive, Raad Richards

Brenda with Carrington’s Chief Executive, Raad Richards

Recognition of the efforts of a quiet achiever- Michael Thornton

21.02.2018 Admin News No Comments

Michael Robert Thornton is currently a resident of Paling Court, who has just celebrated his 75th birthday. He received a wonderful surprise recently when a friend visited him to present him with a Certificate from the Kugatsu Judo Club.

Michael was the Foundation President of the Kugatsu Judo Club when it was first established in September 1967. The club held a large celebration recently to recognise 50 years since it’s formation. The certificate was presented to Michael by Robert Moore at a small ceremony at Paling Court. The Kugatsu Judo Club with approximately 12 others, amicably separated from the Samurai Judo Club, and Michael’s efforts and example inspired others to develop the club and promote the club within the community. Ultimately, the club has benefited and influenced hundreds of people throughout the years.

The club has produced Olympic, National, and International representatives, and past and existing members continue to set a positive example for others in Judo, and in life. The foundation members had a powerful influence, and the Kugatsu Judo Club grew and continues to grow today. It is currently the fifth largest Judo Club in NSW. Judo is an absorbing and enjoyable sport. It develops stamina, strength, skill, and agility, and helps to develop many other life skills as well.

Michael has always been a thoughtful and respected member of the community. His approach to education, work, family, and all aspects of life have made him a positive example for others, and an asset to society.

Michael has been presented with a plaque recognising the importance of his efforts in developing the club and promoting the ideals of Judo.

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Shrove Tuesday Celebrations in Grasmere Terrace

Residents of Grasmere Terrace indulged in cooking pancakes with staff and peers for Shrove Tuesday whilst reminiscing about their own cooking days with the family.

Most of the residents preferred strawberry jam and cream on their pancakes, but we think most of all they got their laughs out of putting gloves and hair nets on for the occasion.

Shrove Tuesday is believed to be a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it’s the last day before Lent.

Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up, so Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent.

The need to eat up the fats gave rise to the French name Mardi Gras; meaning Fat Tuesday. Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday as they were a quick and easy dish that could use up all the eggs, fats and milk in the house with just the addition of flour.

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Grasmere Terrace Resident Mrs Lorna Hoare turns 102!

They say that wisdom comes with age, and this is certainly the case with Mrs Lorna Hoare, one of our Grasmere Terrace residents. Lorna recently celebrated her 102nd Birthday with her closest family and friends.

Born and raised in Abergavenny, Wales, Lorna trained as an art teacher and was happily teaching handicapped children in a school in Norwich when she met Harry at a dance in the summer of 1939. He and Lorna were married on the 6th September, 1939 (three days after the start of the Second World War).

Harry and Lorna moved to Australia in 1951 with their two young children, Rod and Jenny. They settled into the northern suburbs of Sydney. Their family grew by two with the arrival of daughters Mandy and Mindy. The children’s love of horses resulted in the purchase of a small, run down farm in the Picton area. They moved permanently to the Picton district when Harry retired in 1977 after a very interesting career in the construction industry that included being Resident Director and Project Manager of the Sydney Opera House construction.

Lorna became increasingly involved with the local community after settling into their farm, ‘Shingle Hill’, with Harry and the family. Through her interest and hard work, Lorna established an award winning garden, and became engrossed with the setting up of the Picton Garden Club. She served as it’s inaugural President.

After their move to Carrington in 2005, Lorna rediscovered her artistic leanings at the age of 91. She amazed family and friends with a wonderful outpouring of paintings and portrait sketches, many of which currently decorate her room in Grasmere Terrace.

Lorna has always loved being with people, and she always enjoyed being involved in parties and events. A particular highlight in her life was being presented to the Queen at the opening of the Sydney Opera House.

Harry and Lorna were happily married for 72 years. Her family believe that the success of this partnership was in no small part due to Lorna’s indomitable spirit and her boundless sense of humour. Harry passed away at Carrington in 2011 at the age of 97, but he hasn’t left Lorna- he is regularly in her thoughts.

Lorna is admired and adored by her ever growing family- they are all in awe of the very full 102 years of life that she has lived so far.

Happy Birthday Lorna!

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Valentines Day Preparations

9.02.2018 Admin News No Comments

The residents of Werombi Court have been hard at work recently, enjoying some Valentines Day themed crafting sessions with our Leisure and Lifestyle team in preparation for the big day next week. They have been very busy painting hearts, and all things romance and love!

Over the next week, the staff at Werombi Court will be hanging up all the beautiful decorations that have been created by the residents. The residents are always very enthusiastic about creating new decorations, and coming up with new ideas on how to display these around the facility.

Pop in to Werombi Court next week to see the result of all their hard work!

Valentines Day Craft 4  Valentines Day Craft 3  Valentines Day Craft 2Werombi Court Valentines Day Craft

I Am Not Going Anywhere

30.01.2018 Admin News 1 Comment

It is remarkable how often we can become oblivious to the problems of others, until such times as we are confronted directly with them. Such is the situation I have just experienced.

It is the story of two brothers and their love for each other; it is the story of patience, determination, and perseverance; it is the story of a tragedy which might destroy someone of lesser calibre. It is the story of John and his junior brother by one year, Robert.

Both were unmarried and living with their parents while they developed a successful trucking business; a business that commenced with one second hand truck and grew into six semitrailers. Following the death of their parents, they continued to live in their parent’s memory filled home. In November 1997 tragedy struck when Robert was performing an action that would have been second nature to him. While using a straining pipe to tighten the securing chain of his load, it slipped from it’s socket and struck him on the side of his head, causing him to crash to the ground, creating further injury to the other side of his head. Both injuries resulted in serious brain damage.

Robert was in Liverpool Hospital Intensive Care unit for ten days before being moved to the Neurological Ward for a further twenty days, then finally to the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit on Christmas Eve, where he remained for the following ten months. The final prognosis was that Robert was unlikely to ever walk, talk, eat, or swallow again and should be confined to a wheelchair in a nursing home. John was not willing to accept this view and felt that with the assistance of a sympathetic physiotherapist, even though he was still running the trucking business, with perseverance and loving care he could improve Robert’s status at least to some degree. By September 1998, Robert had achieved his first objective when he had learned to walk independently, even if only at a shuffling gait.

John reports that Robert’s prospects remained disheartening! Eating and drinking was extremely difficult and he had a tube inserted in his stomach for nourishment. He was incontinent and required full assistance in terms of personal hygiene. More importantly speech communication was virtually non-existent. John commented, ‘it was like dealing with a child’. Perhaps it could be more accurately expressed as ‘being confronted with an adult who suddenly transformed into the bodily functions and mental capacity of an infant.’

Just imagine what love and courage it would take to sacrifice your future in an endeavour to save your brother, with no guarantee of success. Thankfully, an amazing level of success is being achieved.

Apart from assistance by a very good friend and some early visits by a district nurse, John was left to experiment with how he could assist his brother and hopefully form some method of communication. John says that being in the family home assisted in Robert’s agonisingly slow progress. Amazingly, a whiteboard contributed to a simplistic form of communication between the two brothers and on rare occasions Robert managed to verbalise a few words. For example to Robert’s question ‘where are you going?’, John replied ‘I am not going anywhere’, hence this story’s title.

John soon realised that he was going to be unable to provide the absolute full care that his brother needed and still continue the trucking business. Sadly he had to sell their trucks. Nor could he maintain the family home, so in November 2011, together with Robert he acquired an independent living unit at Carrington, where he managed to gain the services of a government funded full time carer one day a week, supplementing John’s full time efforts.

The Carer was successful in encouraging Robert to join in some community activities, such as darts, draughts, and card games, even to have him to use money in paying for his lunch- a giant step forward in his cognitive progress. John often took Robert for long drives, satisfying the latter’s passion for trucks and driving.

Ever so slowly, Robert began to manage the limited basics of living, previously impossible without John’s intensive care, but he is still incapable of conversation. In January 2017 John became seriously ill and spent five weeks in Campbelltown Hospital. Fortunately, relatives and John’s good friend, with whom Robert was comfortable, were able to step in and look after Robert until John’s return. It was then that John realised it was time to place Robert in full time residential care where he might adapt to their procedures together with John’s guidance and support. John spends time with him nearly every day and often sits with him during meal time. Looking at the pair of them today, one can witness the success they are collectively achieving.

The action of Carrington in placing Robert in Grasmere Terrace Hostel is commendable. John believes, the environment has been beneficial in Robert being able to adapt to living with a range of strangers; something that was beyond his capability in earlier days.

I happened to learn about the pair, firstly, by dint of meeting John who told me much of the background of Robert’s misfortune and reading a description of the brothers written by Cheryl Koenig in the article she wrote for the New South Wales Health Department some years back. Secondly, I was allocated seating at the meal table adjacent to Robert, which enabled me to make my own personal observations.

At my first meal, staff advised that Robert had a brain injury, could not talk, and would alternatively ignore everybody or just glare at them. ‘Disregard him.’ I was told. After a few meals I noticed that that was exactly what everybody did. Robert would shuffle up to the table, seat himself, mainly look straight ahead and was ignored. John explained to me how Robert avoided strangers. That got me to thinking. Maybe he sees us as strangers because we don’t acknowledge him in some way; and the simplest way of doing that is to say hello and goodbye, as we arrive and depart the meal table.

So that’s what I commenced to do. After a relatively short time I supplemented my words by offering my hand, which initially he ignored, but later responded by holding out to me a crooked finger, perhaps as a pseudo handshake. At that point most coudl say he was glaring at me, but I believe it’s a stare, as he tries to place me. The latest I can report is that he now often nods to me, or offers the glimmer of a smile. Sometimes he even offers a full open hand, rather than the earlier crooked finger.

I am not sure I understand just what this, so far limited, response from Robert means to him, but it’s very nature suggests encouragement. Perhaps John is better equipped to express a view. Hopefully my example may set others to follow, although I hasten to add that approaches must be conducted with appropriate sensitivity.

I am writing this story because I was moved by it’s circumstances; because it warrants being told; and the bravery and love of brothers Robert and John be recognised. My sincere thanks is extended to John for sharing his brother’s misfortune with me; and allowing me to write this summarised version of it’s history.

  • Les Langston

I thank Les for his account of Robert’s story, confirm it’s accuracy, and agree to it’s publication- John Fenwick.