Rotary Club hears about history of aged care facility
The history of a Umina aged care facility was described to members of the Rotary Club of Woy Woy during a guest presentation by local historian Ms Julie Aitchison.
Club publicity officer Mr Vic Deeble said Ms Aitchison spoke about the history and evolution of Peninsula Villages and the role played by Mr Don Leggett, a past president of the club.
Ms Aitchison said the 1971 Census showed that one in four people on the Peninsula were over 60 years of age.
This compared with one in eight at Marrickville and one in nine at Parramatta.
"Julie told us that in 1975 there were 8000 people over 60 living on the Peninsula, but there were no nursing homes or residential homes for elderly people.
"Meals on Wheels was run by the Salvation Army, 30 meals twice a week.
"Clearly this was not a satisfactory situation.
"In 1972, the Umina Old Age Pensioners group decided to apply for a grant under the Regional Employment Development Scheme to build a nursing home.
"They created a committee and approached Don who at that time had been: involved in getting the Meals on Wheels service going.
"He had been a foundation member of the Rotary Club of Woy Woy, had assisted the Woy Woy Football Club and was just about involved in everything else," Mr Deeble said.
"Don was on the Council and organised the land which was subject to a caveat that buildings had to be built in the following 12 months.
"It cost $10,000 to buy the land.
"The first four donations to build Peninsula Village were held in a bank account titled The Umina Old Age Pensioners Nursing Home Fund and added up to the princely sum of $26.
"The village is now worth $134M.
"No Government grants have been used for the buildings," Mr Deeble said.
"Monies have come from community groups such as the Rotary Clubs, the Knights of the Central Coast, the District nurses, the War Memorial Club at Ettalong, the South Woy Woy Progress Association, and many others.
"Don was in favour of building 12 units first and then after selling them, going on to build the nursing home.
"He produced a newspaper that promoted the units and the nursing home.
"The paper was circulated in May 1978 from Point Clare to Patonga by volunteers from clubs like ours," Mr Deeble said.
"District nurses raised money by selling drinks to thirsty golfers at the ninth hole of the Everglades golf course and ultimately put $30,000 towards the Peninsula Village.
"In 1978, the initial village units started to be built.
"It took 10 years to get the nursing home that the old age pensioners had wanted back in 1975.
"Unfortunately, few survived to see their project come to fruition.
"The original weekly payroll was $275 for two and a quarter staff.
"The salaries and benefits for the year 2016-7 totalled over $16M."
Newsletter, 6 Aug 2019
Vic Deeble, Rotary Club of Woy Woy