Halfway through the year already, and a newsletter is long overdue. After many attempts to get a newsletter out (mainly just in my mind) I have eventually motivated myself to put “finger to keyboard”
The start to the year was not a good one for our residents, handling the shock of increased rates, Most of our residents have accepted the necessity of the increase, but has put a huge burden on the families that support their parents. Over 90% of our residents rely on support, either from their families or on charities, or both. Without the wonderful support we have had from various sources, we would have been in serious financial difficulties. We were accused of turning Borradaile Trust from one of the most affordable retirement complexes in the country into one of the most expensive. I have reliable information that most other homes are adjusting their fees as well, to remain viable. If we hadn’t taken the decision to increase rates to the extent we did, we could well have ended up in the position that some other homes in the country are facing – and that is closing down. To all those who have donated so generously – a very big thank you.
This year’s calling to date for eternal residence has been Neville Smeda, Tom Anderson, Gladys (Lee) Gavin, Beth Jones, Nols Brits, Helen McCarthy, Avice Amm, Paddy Peebles, Vince Lester, Linda Maritz and John Ashdown. For those of us left behind, it is really sad to see our friends depart, but providing they have made the right choice while on our brief stay on earth, they are going to a far better residence.
Due to the demand for self catering accommodation, and lack of demand for catered accommodation, the decision has finally been taken to convert two very nice units at “The Close” into self catering units. At relatively little expense, Close 19 and 20 is now nearing completion of conversion. Once these units are complete, we will then consider converting Close 17 and 18.
Progress on developing the 3rd new borehole has been slower than I anticipated, but we are slowly getting to the stage where we won\t have to rely on erratic municipal supply of water. This will make a huge difference to residents. Work starts this coming week of waterproofing the brick reservoir, and then we will be connecting into the main water pipeline. The grounds and general appearance of The Trust is looking extremely good, thanks to our maintenance manager Alec Muil. The "atmosphere" in Borradaile Trust remains one of tranquility and peace - thanks to God.
The time has come for me to hand over the baton as Warden, and I will be retiring at the end of the year. For some time now, I have felt the need for a fresh pair of legs in the “hot seat”. I am convinced that this can only be to the advantage of Borradaile. I also feel that we need some young blood on the General Committee. The decision for a younger committee for Borradaile Hospital has paid dividends, and the hospital is going from strength to strength, and I am sure this can be the same for The Trust. I do feel that we have all done our best through an extremely difficult period, but so often we see a fresh pair of legs or hands make a huge difference in injecting fresh enthusiasm. My intention is still to give Borradaile Trust all the support I can. Alan Burl has done exceptional work as Chairman of the Trust over the last 7 years, and also feels it is time for him to pass the baton. It hasn’t been an easy time, but with The Lord in control, He has kept Borradaile as a haven for the elderly in this country. We can only thank God for giving Dorothy Bell the vision of the necessity for this home for the elderly back in 1951.
Rosie Rodney has retired as secretary after ten years of dedicated service. Rosie’s health has not been good, and one only hopes and prays that this will improve without the pressure she has been under. She has had a thyroid problem, angina, and a mild stroke.
I end this newsletter with this very old newspaper cutting I found while cleaning out my desk drawers:
IT TAKES ALL SORTS: Life is enriched by those diverse characteristics that we each contribute, says Rev. Dr. David M. Owen
Chapter 37 of Ezekiel contains the prophet’s astonishing vision of bones, sinews and muscles all knitting together. It inspired the famous Negro spiritual “O, ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord”
The talk of “bones” leads me to mention someone’s comment on the bones that Ezekiel never mentioned, but would constitute today’s Church (or a lot of other organisations).
There are “backbones” – members who roll up their sleeves and get on with the work; “knucklebones” – members who knock everything others do; “jawbones” – those who talk a lot but do very little else; “wishbones” - members who hope others will do the work, and thank goodness, the “funnybones” who often relieve a tense situation by cheerfulness.
We could add too, “drybones” people, including preachers, who talk a lot but say nothing; “anklebones” – those who get around visiting the house bound, and “kneebones” – those who do the scrubbing (chores) and or praying.
Whatever the organisation, we have to live and work alongside those who do plenty, or the minimum. Let us each think carefully, and ensure we are making a positive contribution.
I will endeavour to get out another newsletter before I hand over the baton to my successor.
regards, and God's blessings on all of you