Long-serving staff farewelled at home

Parata Anglican 
Parata Anglican Charitable Trust chairman Peter Hargest presents flowers to the Parata Rest Home manager Shirley Turnbull (centre) and administrator Julie Tattershaw, at an afternoon tea to mark their retirement. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Two women who have clocked up more than 80 years of service between them have stepped down from roles they held at Gore’s Parata Rest Home.

The rest-home is owned by the Parata Anglican Charitable Trust.

Board member Julie Tattershaw and rest-home manager Shirley Turnbull were farewelled with an afternoon tea last week.

Mrs Tattershaw said she was asked to draw up a budget for the proposed rest-home in 1971 by the building committee.

"They’d done none of that stuff," Mrs Tattershaw said.

"The building was nearing completion."

The 14-bed residential home opened in October 1971.

The day-to-day running of the rest-home was looked after by a house committee and Mrs Tattershaw became the administrator and board member.

Over time the facilities expanded, providing cottages and a day care centre.

"We’ve built it from nothing."

Ms Turnbull said she began working at the rest-home 35 years ago as a caregiver.

About two years later Mrs Tattershaw asked her to apply for the manager’s position.

"I wasn’t really that keen — it wasn’t a field I was familiar with," Ms Turnbull said.

She ended up loving the work and had great admiration for the elderly people she met.

"They’ve been through much harder times than what we have ever been through and they just get on with it."

Sometimes people treated the elderly as if they had a "chronic sickness".

However, she believed growing old was a "natural thing"and older people had gifts and wisdom to offer.

"No-one wants to be reminded every day they’ve got bits and pieces that don’t work as good.

"Life’s for living."

The women said as well as providing a high standard of care, they aimed to make the years people spent in the rest-home enjoyable.

"It should be a fun time as much as one can make it," Ms Turnbull said.

"If you can’t have fun, what is life?" Mrs Tattershaw said.

It was important the residents felt comfortable in the rest-home, they said.

"It’s got to be their home and we tried very hard to keep it a friendly home," Ms Turnbull said.


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