News & Events

Bequests can change lives

February 19, 2017

Anne Jeffery, a former secretary at Rushall Park, probably never imagined the benefits her bequest would provide for older Victorians. The same can be said for two other residents, who have moved from Rushall Park to Liscombe House, within the last few years. They are among the many residents who have made bequests to OCAV to ensure that affordable and secure accommodation is available to as many older Victorians as possible.


Anne Jeffery’s large bequest funded the building of the Anne Jeffery wing – the dementia unit at Liscombe House, which is OCAV’s aged care facility at St Helena.


OCAV has recently published a bequest booklet explaining what is involved in making a bequest and dispelling a common myth that only large amounts can be considered a bequest.


OCAV’s CEO Phillip Wohlers said there have been several large bequests, but also smaller ones that when combined have ensured a unit in one of the four villages can be renovated or have new safety features installed.


Some people who leave a bequest to OCAV stipulate that is must go towards the gardens, renovation of a unit or units, or to a specific program, such as a dementia program. Such bequest wishes are always honoured.


OCAV began almost 150 years ago because a group of Victoria’s founding families made significant bequests, which allowed the first cottages to be built.


“We have four villages and maintaining them and renovating them to ensure they are safe for residents is very costly. Some renovations can cost more than $100,000,” Phillip said.


One of the most recent renovations completed was to the cottage that Anne Jeffery paid to have built in the 1960s when she retired from OCAV. The cottage’s restoration was a great success and it is now home to a couple who are enjoying the light filled unit with modern amenities.


“Anne’s generosity not only allowed us to build the dementia unit at Liscombe House, her cottage at Rushall Park has also housed many people over the decades since she died,” Phillip said.


OCAV does not get any Government funding for the building or maintenance of independent units in the four villages. It relies on donations and bequests for major works and some of the units are around 150 years old and are in need of upgrades.


“We want to make all the units in our villages places where residents can stay for as long as possible. This means one by one making considerable changes such as no-step showers, rails and other safety features,” he said.


Phillip said one bequest from a resident was not disclosed until a cheque arrived after the person had died. However, he said if people were willing to discuss their bequest plans, then he could find out if they wanted their bequest directed to a specific project or program. He would also like to have the opportunity to thank people now and show OCAV’s appreciation.


“If you prefer to keep your bequest private we understand, but we still ask that you let us know,” he said.

If you have included Old Colonists’ Association of Victoria in your Will or if you would like further information please contact: OCAV on  03 9433 1100


Dorothy Clayton has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into Braeside Park nine years ago. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the Berwick village.

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