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Celebrating 270 Years of life at Bethanie Fields

A few months ago, residents from Bethanie Fields had some big plans for some big birthdays. They were gearing up for a very special afternoon tea to celebrate three momentous birthdays equaling 270 years of life. Gwen Palmer turns 100 years old on 16th April, Dan Hugo turned 90 years old on 10th April and Jacquie Thorpe turned 80 on 9th April.

However, the world and how we can celebrate such occasions has changed dramatically since the planning phase and with social distancing being absolutely imperative, a new plan is in place so that residents can still ensure that at least Gwen, turning 100, gets the recognition she deserves on such a milestone birthday.

As a surprise for Gwen on the day of her birthday, Thursday 16th April, she will be driven around in a hot rod where residents are being asked to stand at their front doorsteps and wish her happy birthday as she cruises around the village.

All three residents are still happily living independently in the Bethanie Fields Retirement Village, with Gwen being the first ever Bethanie Fields centenarian to remain living independently.

Gwen Palmer was born in Perth in 1920. Gwen wanted to be a hairdresser, however, at the time it wasn’t possible for her to pursue that career and instead she was apprenticed to a dressmaker. Gwen went on to teach dressmaking at the local TAFE in Collie. Gwen’s mother was very creative with her hands and this may well be where Gwen’s creative talents were developed.

Art always has been and still is a big part of Gwen’s life. She has held numerous exhibitions with her art finding homes all over Australia and overseas. Gwen started to teach art at Bethanie Fields Village 10 years ago and prior to COVID-19, she would offer her knowledge and expertise on a weekly basis to residents from the village.

Gwen says,

“Life in the village is what you make of it. You can choose to get involved with what’s on offer and join in. There is always someone to talk to and lend a hand. Never on your own unless you want to be. Life is easier and happier, and everyone helps each other in the village, it’s just that sort of community.
“Of course things are a little different right now with Coronavirus and us all keeping our distance, but we will get through this together.”

Bethanie Fields Retirement Village adjoins the Bethanie Fields Aged Care Home allowing for a continuum of care for residents, allowing for the opportunity to remain close to loved ones who may require a higher level of care at differing times in their aged care journey.

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