Take A Moment With… Doug

Sonia Lim 21 Jun 2024

Edmund (or known by his friends – for which he has many – as Doug) is a remarkable person who both lives in our RFBI Lake Haven Retirement Village and volunteers in our on-site residential care community.

Doug is a friendly face in the community and has regularly volunteered his time here as a bus driver, President of the Bus & Hall Committee, on the village choir and for 25 years has been involved in running the game, shuffleboard, on site.

Doug’s desire to stay involved is to both be part of the village day-to-day and to remain active. Whilst he isn’t volunteering as much of his time now so he can provide care to his wife, he is still so active in the community and is a valued and appreciated member of our local team of volunteers.

“I love the stories I hear in the village,” Doug shares.

“Meeting men who have worked in the same area as myself, meeting women who carried on farming work after the death of their partner, and speaking to a former policeman in his 60s were some of the many interesting people I’ve met. Having worked on shuffleboard for so long, it’s challenging watching people gradually lose their ability to connect with others. But the team here are so caring and loving that it really makes a difference.”

Doug talks fondly of the friendly competition that during the regular shuffleboard activities he helps facilities, with a few expletives thrown his way during a tough game (it prompted some laughs). He also reflects on the amazing village bus trips he’s facilitated for residents.

“It is very rewarding. RFBI is very caring for people of all needs. If you are considering volunteering, my advice is to just do it.”

Doug loves spending time with residents who share similar experiences as him. When he was young, Doug grew up on a cane and dairy farm in Ballina. Growing up during WWII and facing the challenges of rationing, Doug is gracious and appreciative of the life he lives and gives his time to others as a result.

He speaks fondly of his time growing up with his dad, riding horses as transport, rowing the boat across the river to the local Ballina township for supplies, and riding his bike to school with a quick transit on the local ferry. And he enjoys sharing stories of his mum’s fresh bread, his uncle’s help on the farm and the happiest moment of his life – marrying his beloved Lucy (this year they celebrate 70 years of marriage, what an achievement).

Together Lucy and Doug have welcomed three children, nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and two great, great-children into the world.

Doug says that living in the RFBI Lake Haven Retirement Village has been the right decision for he and Lucy and they’ve now lived here for 29 years.

“Living in the village allows my wife, who is on a care plan, to enjoy the extra help we need and also enjoy entertainment every fortnight, exercise once a week and the bus trips we’ve helped facilitate over many years,” Doug says.

Read more resident stories from our villages by clicking here.