HOW WE LIVE NOW
All this talk about the wider community around us –
what about our St Aidans community?
A number of our members have changed their
homes in the past few years and a few of them
have shared what things are like for them now.
Jocelyn can’t think of any better way she could have spent the last 10 years
than having a “Licence to Occupy” for a unit at Northbridge Retirement
Village. Previously she had a flat next to a friend’s in Gladstone Road but
when May had to go into care her own situation there with poor eyesight
became less attractive .
Hot dinners available in the cafeteria, plenty of public spaces inside and out
to socialise when you feel inclined and interest groups to join if you want to,
all make for a good lifestyle. This is coupled with a large 1-bedroom unit with
full facilities and enough room to entertain 10 guests .
What about time to yourself and keeping in touch with the world outside the
village? Jocelyn finds there is plenty of scope for privacy in your own unit.
She uses her half price taxi card to go out by herself once or twice a week to
visit family or get around the shops.
Margaret says she and Malcolm have been on a ”cruise ship without the
waves” for the past one year at Bert Sutcliffe Village. They enjoy it and now
think they should have moved earlier. Their one bedroom independent
apartment is very comfortable with more power points and light switches than
they ever had before! Plus their balcony faces north so they can enjoy the
Services available are: exercise classes,films, glee club (singing), bus trips,
shopping trips, craft club, quiz nights, card games, morning and afternoon
teas, concerts, gymnasium, pool, spa, library, theatre, and fortnightly church
services. For an extra charge there is a possibility of tai chi, yoga, line
dancing, fine dining and hairdressing.
They can choose which groups they attend and these are now where they
have a group of friends, although they find all the residents are friendly and
greet each other. Likewise the staff are friendly and helpful with any problems
Well kept gardens and plenty of walks available make a lovely environment.
Edith has found a good home in a shared house run by the Long Bay Baptist
Church in Northcote . She was happy renting a house some years back and
would have stayed there but struck the problem many do in a rental situation-
the owner decides to sell and you have to move on. She spent some time
with her daughter but circumstances were changing and with perfect timing
this new house had recently opened and she was able to move in.
The impression from the front door is of a light open building with the big
lounge visible at the far end of the hall. Edith has a good bed sitting room
with large ensuite and balcony and shares the living, dining, kitchen, laundry
and outside areas with 4 other ladies.
The trust who are in charge of the venture keep an eye on the residents and
maintenance is promptly seen to by a building manager who “has his ear to
Prospective new residents are first interviewed by the trust and then by the
residents to make sure everyone feels happy with each other. Edith says the
communal aspect is not for everyone and a few people have changed over
the 4 years usually moving into individual pensioner units but most like it.
They look after themselves as far as cooking and other household chores go
and would help each other out in case of minor illness. It’s very similar to the
arrangement young adults make when “ flatting” except it’s the cleanest
brightest “flat” the writer has ever been in!
PS Edith knows all about the Northcote wastewater project from a front row
and from Helene
Iona Close is a wonderful part of the Northcote and St Aidan’s
community to live in! Andre and I were fortunate that a cottage
became available soon after we came to New Zealand in 2010 and we
moved in in April 2011.
The nine cottages here fall under the management of a Trust belonging to
St Aidan’s. As the members of the Trust are all volunteers the expenses are
kept low and the residents are the ones to benefit from that. All the
maintenance is done for us and each resident can choose how much of the
gardening they want to do, if any.
We had been worshipping at St Aidan’s when we were still coming here as
visitors for five years before we immigrated and so we already felt part of
this very warm and welcoming community. The church has continued to be
a focal point for us and we feel that we have become an integral part of it.
The different residents can choose to what extent they want to socialize
with one another. We have never felt our privacy to be threatened and
have enjoyed the friendship that has come our way. Bruce and Betty are
the only ones with us who are officially affiliated to St Aidan’s; yet all the
others are included in visits and in receiving church newsletters. We all
enjoy at least one function together annually, often held on the church
We are very centrally and conveniently situated with easy public transport
access to many parts of the city. The buses on Onewa Road are frequent in
both directions making it easy to go to the city; to Highbury and further
afield; to Takapuna as well as the two main hospitals.
So all in all we feel blessed to live where we do.