Resident Stories


Trish and Tony have proven retirement living isn’t only for retirees!

When Trish and Tony decided to move from Lake Macquarie and call Dubbo home, they set their sights on moving into a retirement village. With Tony still working, friends suggested they were too young for retirement living. Trish and Tony disagreed, and they couldn’t be happier with their decision.

Trish and Tony’s love of the country stems from their childhood. Trish was born in Sydney but moved with her family to live in the Blue Mountains when she was only three years old. Tony was born in Jerilderie near Griffith. He moved with his family to Marulan near Goulburn and then to the Blue Mountains.

Both Trish and Tony attended Hazelbrook Primary School, and while they saw each other around, they were in different grades and didn’t know each other well.

Trish’s parents taught ballroom dancing and Tony partnered with Trish’s sister for a while, so they crossed paths then too. But it wasn’t until Trish was working in Sydney and catching the train daily from the Blue Mountains that they got talking.

“I saw Tony on the station one day and I thought he looked familiar,” says Trish. “He was the Assistant Station Master at the time. On another day, he was on my train and we spoke.”

“Tony also knew my brother and one day suggested to him that they go 10-pin bowling. Tony asked my brother to invite me too, so I went along. Eventually my brother worked out what was going on and stopped coming out with us.”

Trish and Tony married and bought their first home in Lawson. Trish was working for a credit union in Katoomba by then, and Tony had moved on from the railways and was with the Sherriff’s Office.

“Our daughter was born about a year after we were married, and when she was six months old, we moved to Grafton with Tony’s job,” says Trish. “We had two more children in Grafton.”

Life with three children brings much joy, it also brings the unexpected. Trish and Tony were advised that it would be best if they relocated to live near major health services for their son, so Tony set about looking for a transfer.

“At first we moved to Narrabri and then Tony got a job in Lake Macquarie, and that was great as it put us near John Hunter Hospital,” says Trish. “We enjoyed many lovely years there with our growing family.”

Long after the children had left home, Tony was offered a redundancy from the Sherriff’s Office and accepted it. It was time for a career change – Tony completed an aged care certificate and got his heavy vehicle licence.

“After I left school and before the Sherriff’s Office and the railways, I pumped petrol at a service station, worked for a furniture company and also worked in car spare parts,” says Tony. “I never shied away from giving something new a go. With my new qualifications, I got a job in patient transport.”

“With our children all living in Dubbo and our daughter having her second baby, we went to visit,” says Trish. “While we were there Tony saw a position vacant for someone to drive the Royal Flying Doctor Service dental van. He applied for the job and got it and started work straight away.”

Trish and Tony rented in Dubbo while they looked for the right home to buy. They knew they wanted their next house to be smaller than their last. With Trish having had a stroke some years earlier and Tony travelling away from home with the dental van, when he was home he didn’t want to be spending all his time tending to the yard.

“We stumbled across Oak Tree Dubbo and liked the feel of the place right away,” says Trish. “We knew we couldn’t just go by ‘feel’ though, so we looked at other villages too but found there was nothing else like it.”

“We live in a lovely supportive community – it’s everything we hoped. I can keep up with the housework, the gardens are beautifully maintained for us. It’s like being on holidays all the time. We love it.”

Tony is now semi-retired. “I still work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, doing casual hours in the Experience Centre,” says Tony.

“I have plenty to keep me busy too,” says Trish. “I go to the coffee club on the first and third Thursday of the month. We have whole-village lunches together. There’s a craft day on a Tuesday and we are involved with the mosaicking that is run by other residents. I also do exercises and water aerobics.”

“Even with COVID and our activities needing to stop temporarily, we still had one another to wave to and talk to from afar. We were never alone.”

With Tony now having more time on his hands, he and Trish look forward to travelling. They can’t wait to “lock up and go” and enjoy their holidays without giving their home a second thought.

To find out more about Oak Tree Retirement Village Dubbo, New South Wales or for a personal tour call 1300 367 155.

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