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Merrimac Park November Newsletter

The month of October was filled with various activities for the Merrimac Park aged care residents such as the Centenarian project, a number of concerts and preparations for Melbourne Cup.

Centenarian Project

Our Three Centenarians Wyn.A, Chris.R and Alma.J have just finished taking part in the Queensland edition of the Centenarian Project. The project involved 100 Queensland Centenarians and 100 student artists.

Cherro, Hanna and Kate visited their resident (and families), where they formed as much of a friendship as they possibly could. From there, they went away and worked on their piece of art.

Upon finishing this project, the artworks were on display alongside 97 other pieces at an exhibition in Brisbane. The artworks were then presented personally to Chris, Wyn and Alma to keep and are now proudly on their wall along with the artists’ impression blog.

This was a truly wonderful experience which highlighted LIFE.


This month our aged care residents had a variety of performances, which they all thoroughly enjoyed from the Melody Major choir group, Irma Courtney and the Sundance’s vocalist and dancers as well as a beautiful performance from pianist and vocalist, Mark Dean.


Raffles have been soaking up as much sunshine and fresh air as they can get with morning tea and lunches outside.

Residents are also working together tidying up the gardens and plant new plants to bring in the new season.


This month, our Ritz residents enjoyed a pamper morning with foot spas and nail care. They also started some decorations for Halloween and made their fascinators for the Melbourne Cup.

Residents have been enjoying regular walks around the gardens while soaking up the morning sunshine.

Around the facility

The football season has come to an end, and a big congratulations to our footy tips champions’ Kathy, Jean and Jenna.

Merrimac celebrated Oktoberfest at happy hour with word games and a delicious German cuisine spread.

Residents from both buildings are coming together to have a friendly game of pool in the evenings and enjoying a sing-a-long twice a month.

Residents have been enjoying regular walks around the gardens while soaking up the morning sunshine.

Meet our People

Gradus (Peter) was born to Dutch parents in Java, Indonesia. He was raised in a Japanese Internment camp, and in 1941 became a prisoner of war.

Peter grew up inside this camp and has very strong memories of his time there, yet, he is happy to talk about it.

He spent many years writing and published a book ‘Behind the Bamboo Fence,’ which can be purchased online for a small price.

Peter can speak Malay, Dutch, French and English.

He loved cooking Indonesian food and is quite knowledgeable when it comes to ingredients and how they are used in Indonesian cuisine.

Peter has two sisters and one brother. He still speaks to one of his sisters who’s living in Holland at least once a week, when Peter’s son Ron visits.

Peter was married twice having two children Ronald and Marta to his 1st wife (divorced.)
Peter and his 2nd wife (Elva) travelled quite a lot and would take at least two trips a year. Elva has since passed away, in December 2017.

Peter joined the Dutch Navy working as a Navigation Officer, but this was not during the wartime. He also had several jobs like a waiter and an accountant.

Migrating to Australia in 1967, Peter had owned and operated a very large dry cleaning and laundry business. In the early days, he did all of the laundry for the Sydney Opera and had clients as far as Katoomba.

Before moving to Merrimac, Peter lived in Port Macquarie with his wife, Elva.

Today, Peter enjoys chatting about his past – all about his dry cleaning business. Although he can get (understandably) emotional, Peter does not mind sharing his life experiences, his Elva or of his time being brought up during the war as a POW.

This Month’s Activities

Melbourne Cup

Residents will enjoy the sultry, soulful and mellow tones of Irma Courtney

Ros bates

Ros bates morning tea

Trevor Rix


Gen pals

Morning tea


Residents will have the opportunity to splurged on the stalls

Just Jeff



5th Helmut
5th Rudi
8th Evonne
14th Ellie
17th Gwen
20th Ron
28th Taeko