Now at home in Yeppoon, Edna and John Rambert are a long way from their native South Africa. They came to Australia in 1977 and found what they were looking for, and more.
With a babe in arms, the tensions and riots that were part of everyday life in South Africa made Edna and John feel unsafe. After deciding it was no place to raise their children, they made a new home in Melbourne, Victoria.
“It took us about two years to settle as life was just so different to what we’d experienced in South Africa,” says Edna. “But we did settle and loved it here and it soon felt like home.”
Edna and John welcomed their second and third children while living in Melbourne and the family thrived.
“We were in Melbourne for 16 years before deciding it was time to find a warmer climate, so off to Rockhampton we went.”
John found work easily and the children grew under the Queensland sun. They enjoyed 25 years in their Rockhampton family home.
With age sometimes comes health problems, so 10 years ago, Edna and John decided to look for a retirement village.
“We looked around Rockhampton and saw quite a few,” says Edna. “Many were too big for us. The larger they are the more people you don’t know. They’re not a friendly place then.”
During their search, Edna and John saw an ad for Oak Tree Yeppoon. It looked to be the perfect size, so they went and had a look.
“It was the right size and had everything we wanted,” says Edna. “All on one level and no stairs. Very central to everything. Not too far from Rockhampton and close by to a hospital.”
“We’ve made lots of friends. It’s very nice and we’re very happy here.”
“We’re living as one caring community – one family – and always look out for each other. For example, if we haven’t seen someone in a while or they don’t seem to be sticking to their usual routine we check in and make sure they’re okay.”
“John and I are both enjoying retirement our own way. He keeps busy in the garden and I enjoy craft and coffee mornings.”
“We’ve felt very safe during this COVID time too. We know that no one has travelled or has been out and about. We’ve been able to keep to ourselves but still enjoy having our friends nearby.”