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Three residents celebrate 20 years of life at Donovan Village
Posted by Marketing on September 8, 2014

20_years__DV_008.JPG2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Southern Cross Care (WA) Inc.’s (SCC) Donovan Village at Forrestfield – and with it, 20 years of residency for three of the original residents - Mrs Barbara Slater, Mrs Elaine Beswick and Mr Jack Errington.  To celebrate the occasion an afternoon tea was held at the village’s Brian Jackson Community Centre on Wednesday 3 September.  The community spirit was clear to see with over 40 residents joining in the celebration, along with family members of Mrs Slater and Mrs Beswick and SCC representatives.

CEO, Errol Turner, addressed each of the three residents, recounting some of the residents’ memories from the early days and acknowledging the significant role they have had in the development of the community, “The contribution these three have made to the Donovan Community is quite profound and it is their stories of their desire to enjoy their lives and friendships that bring about a special sense of pride that Southern Cross is creating something special for the people who choose to live in our communities”.

Donovan Village consisted of just eleven villas when Barbara, Elaine and Jack purchased their homes from SCC in 1994.  Nestled amongst natural bushland where mature trees and the landscape have been retained to reflect the unique foothills setting, Jack Errington said he was “drawn to the village because of its rural surroundings and its ambience of peace and tranquillity”.  It continues to be a popular choice for retirees, since 1994 two further stages of development has seen the village grow to the established community it is today with 62 villas and community centre, which offers residents a well-stocked library, fully equipped gym and a large outdoor area ideal for barbecues and alfresco dining. Residents also enjoy the use of a village bus available for shopping trips and social outings. Regular dinner nights, carpet bowls and card games also feature on the community calendar.

Elaine Beswick has been an ambassador of Donovan Village’s social scene, hosting the first Christmas get-together at the village, and along with other early residents, Elaine started social afternoons and enjoyed Saturday night barbeques down by the creek. Elaine was instrumental in forming the first residents committee in 2002 and contributed greatly to the community over the years, including forming a group to entertain residents at Jeremiah Donovan House, a 65 bed residential care facility, and Donovan Respite Centre, a centre based respite service, co-located with the village.

Barbara Slater moved to the village with her husband Cyril in January 1994, taking ownership of one of the first properties at Donovan. Three years later, in March 1997, Barbara and her husband celebrated 40 years in Australia with a party held on the bank of the creek that runs through the village. Barbara recalls many of the street parties that were organised between the residents prior to the building of the community centre, saying they called themselves “the streetkids”!

Jack Errington was one of the “streetkids”, he remembers “We entertained ourselves in each other’s homes and in street parties which took place in the early days under the street lights outside house number 1 which was occupied by Cyril and Barbara Slater”.  Jack has been a valued member of the Donovan Village community and his efforts establishing a flower garden for the early residents is still being enjoyed by the residents of today. At 90 years of age Jack epitomises Southern Cross Care’s values and mission of providing thriving independent living communities for seniors.

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