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New friends and a new lease on life

Monday, 20 April 2020

Having lived in Sydney almost all her life, Kerri Breheny naturally thought she’d retire there. Instead, she is having the time of her life amongst friends in Orange.

The eldest of five children, Kerri was born in Sydney and loved her lively family life in the suburb of Windsor. At age 13, her dad, a pharmacist, took a new job in Canberra so the family moved to live there. Kerri loved that too. However, after finishing school the call to follow in her father’s footsteps was so strong, she returned to Sydney to study pharmacy at university.

“I spent 30 years working as a pharmacist in various Sydney suburbs, and during that time I also married and had two children, a son and a daughter,” says Kerri. “Life was wonderfully busy and rewarding.”

In retirement, and while living at Great Mackerel Beach in Sydney’s north, Kerri and her husband separated.

“It was time of great change and I found myself making decisions about things I didn’t ever think I would have to contemplate,” says Kerri. “Housing affordability in Sydney was an issue for me, but I knew that I’d also had enough of the traffic and hubbub of city life.”

“With a sister living in Orange and having visited her on many occasions, I wondered if perhaps I should make a move there myself.”

“Orange is a wonderful regional city with great shopping, medical services, recreation facilities, cafés, restaurants, theatres, wineries, festivals and more – it had everything I could possibly need, and then some.”

“My son was living in Orange by this time, and I knew if I did move there, I’d only be about three-and-a-half hours by car from Sydney so I could easily nip back to visit my daughter.”

“So, I Googled over 55s living in Orange, and Oak Tree Orange came up.

“It looked great on the website, but I wondered, could I afford it, and would I like the people? Both questions were answered during my first visit, and both with a resounding yes!”

“It ticked lots of other boxes too. The villas were beautifully appointed. I would have my own garden to potter in, but I’d never have to climb a ladder to clean out the gutters again! Plus, I could bring Zac, my now seven-year-old Cavoodle, with me. I was sold, and my family was too.”

“I’ve been here for almost two years now and I’m having the time of my life amongst friends. We have so much in common and thrive on each other’s company. We regularly go out to dinner, to the movies and the theatre. We never miss an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and have fun.”

“We also regularly host wonderful social events in our community centre, including a sausage sizzle every Friday, Christmas in July and Christmas lunch. These events suit those residents who prefer not to gallivant.”

“We all make good use of our bowling green too – not just for bowls but for mini golf and croquet.”

“It’s a beautiful family environment and wonderful community to be part of. I truly do consider myself to be lucky to be an Oak Tree Orange resident.

To find out more about Oak Tree Retirement Village Orange call 1300 367 155.