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  • Our Stories

    A selection of stories from our residents

  • Richard (Dick) Udy

    Dick Udy couldn’t wait to enlist when war was declared in 1939. His sense of adventure was eventually fulfilled as a wireless operator onboard the “Black Cats” Catalina flying boats, mining and bombing Japanese strongholds and harbours under the cover of darkness, at very low altitude. Here he tells his story… In 1939 I was […]

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  • Victory in the Pacific – 75 years since the end of World War II

    RSL LifeCare has been capturing the memories of our war veterans for many years as a way of honouring our residents’ individual service. This VP Day – the 75th since the end of World War II – we present four residents’ memories that illustrate the wide range of individual experiences of the Pacific War: a […]

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  • Hidden Treasures – Ray Cunningham

    When Japan entered the war with the bombing of Pearl Harbour in December 1941, Australia was caught off guard. With its fighting forces on the other side of the world, a hasty scramble ensued to gather enough men to defend New Guinea and halt Japan’s offense in the Pacific. Ray Cunningham, then just 18, shares […]

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  • Hidden Treasures – Wal Williams

    Part 1 I was born in October 1922 and grew up in the leafy Sydney suburb of Northbridge. My dad was a keen and strong swimmer and Northbridge Baths were a big part of our lives, so I became a good swimmer too. It took me a long time to be able to match him, […]

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  • A Safe, Secure and Vibrant Retirement Community lifestyle

    Article featured in The Daily Telegraph Edition 2nd July Our communities are designed for both veterans and non-veterans to actively enjoy their independence in a safe, secure, and maintenance-free environment. You can choose to do as much or as little as you like…. –Laurie Leigh, CEO, RSL LifeCare   Retirement—it’s all in the planning! When […]

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  • A lifetime of friendship at Bimbimbie

    Moira Stewart and Peggy McDonnell are friends spanning 1 century, 8 decades or maybe just 75 years sounds about right. Their story began when working together, at John Sandersons Shipping Lines, Spencer Street Melbourne in the 1940’s. Moira was a PA in the Finance department, Peggy worked in the Cargo department as a stenographer, two […]

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  • It’s a matter of manners

    Some things don’t change even when you’re a Centenarian. Former 7th Division Army officer Lieutenant Doug Bowman took part in the landing in Borneo with 25TH Brigade in 1945. In December, the RSL LifeCare resident will be 101. “He was always popular because of his politeness,” daughter Sharon Armour said. “Especially with women. He always […]

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  • The Diggers’ Friend

    Veterans’ health is not a new concern. RSL LifeCare’s existence is based on support for those in need. Stephen Stack MBE, co-founder of the “War Vets” home, now RSL LifeCare Anzac Village at Narrabeen, was acutely aware of the physical and mental health issues of veterans.  Having served in WWI on the Western Front, Steve […]

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  • Jenny Hubbard goes above and beyond

    RSL LifeCare at Home’s Jenny Hubbard might pull out some weeds and fill a birdbath on one of her visits to elderly residents in the Woolgoolga community. Not to mention, occasionally bringing some lunch and having a cuppa with people whose social networks have diminished almost entirely. For some of these people I am their […]

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  • Julie Morton, Community Carer, RSL LifeCare at Home

    Julie Morton has worked as a community carer in age care for more than 13 years and enjoys the variety the job offers. She works with RSL LifeCare at Home close to where she lives which works well for her. She has eight regular clients, plus the occasional new person to visit. There is an […]

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  • Naomi Bartlett, Community Carer, RSL LifeCare at Home

    Naomi Bartlett sees her role in community care as a privilege. She works with RSL LifeCare at Home, based at Anzac Village in Narrabeen. With a background in youth work and with young people and adults with Outward Bound in England and Scotland, when Naomi and her family moved to Australia she looked for a […]

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  • Paying homage

    Mondo Rock bassist Paul Christie has played on stages around the world, performing to thousands as a member of Australian rock music’s elite. But what might seem like an exciting life to most is, to Paul, effectively, a job. Another of his heart’s pursuits lies closer to home, at “The War Vets” in Narrabeen, otherwise […]

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  • When the Past Refuses to Let Go

    War Neurosis, War Trauma, Shell Shock, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – the names may have changed from war to war yet the crushing, brain-addling effects are the same. In recognition of Worldwide PTSD Awareness Day on 27 June we share the story of Tim Ridgway, WWII Navigator on Wellington Bombers in the North African Campaign. […]

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  • Lucky Stevens and the D-Day Landings

    Today is the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings at Normandy – a brave move which heralded the beginning of the end of WWII in Europe. To acknowledge the occasion, we remember the story of one of the brave young soldiers involved in the landings – Cliff Stevens. Cliff was a much-loved resident of “The […]

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  • Building a shed

    When Arthur Thomas left Emu Plains to take up residency at RSL LifeCare’s Kingsford Smith Village, North Richmond, he knew he would not need his stockpile of wood-turning tools. Rather than putting them behind him forever, the 83-year-old decided instead to give them to the Village’s men’s shed. “I had a garage full of equipment […]

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  • Ted Matthews, the last living ANZAC from the Gallipoli landing

    On ANZAC Day we remember “the originals”, the men who fought for King and Country in the First World War – men like Ted Matthews. Ted was a resident of “The War Vets” Village at Narrabeen (now RSL ANZAC Village). He was one of the last men to be evacuated from Gallipoli in 1915 and […]

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  • Hidden Treasures – Roy Lascelles

    Born 20 April 1918, Roy Lascelles is one of our oldest residents, celebrating his 101st birthday this April. Roy’s life began during World War 1, when the Allies were fighting the Germans in the Spring Offensive in Flanders. On the Armistice of that war he was a bouncing six month old baby. In World War […]

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  • Emily McNamara’s Story

    Emily McNamara was born 100 years ago on the 5th February 1919. From the age of six she has lived in the Lismore area of Far North NSW where she has been a lifelong contributor to the local community. She has been a volunteer with St Vincent’s de Paul for 42 years, is the longest […]

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  • Una Keast’s Story

    As a young nurse keen for adventure, Una Keast signed up to serve as soon as war was declared in 1939. She didn’t have to wait long, sailing with the 2/5th Australian General Hospital (AGH) to the Middle East in 1940. During the course of WWII Una nursed under canvas in the warzones of Greece […]

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  • June Smith’s Story

    Born in 1922, June can clearly remember watching the Sydney Harbour Bridge being built from her house in Cremorne Junction. Preferring the fresh air and outdoors to the rigors of the classroom and the drudgery of office work, June signed up with the Volunteer Aid Detachment as soon as war was declared. In 1944 she […]

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  • Archdeacon (EM) Anne Ranse OAM’s Story

    In 1969, aged 22 and with only one year of nursing experience under my belt, I went remote area nursing to the mining town of Coober Pedy with the Bush Church Aid Society. My mother was horrified but I knew it was the right thing to do. I was excited by the thought of using […]

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  • Narelle Townsend’s Story

    Narelle Townsend has travelled the world for her career, following her passions and interests in architecture and “housing the world”. As one of Australia’s first female architects she learned to ignore any hindrances and to press on regardless. Narelle was the first female architect within the United Nations, where she worked for over 20 years. […]

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  • Mavis Wheeler’s Story

    In 1941 Mavis Wheeler was one of only six women hand-picked by the Royal Australian Air Force to test their skills as telegraphists. With more and more men required in the Pacific war zone, the RAAF tested the theory that women might be just as capable as men at the exacting and critical task of […]

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