News & Events

Three cheers for afternoon tea at Government House

July 24, 2019

It was a trip back in history for 70 residents, volunteers and staff who were treated to afternoon tea at Government House.

The occasion, hosted by OCAV Patron Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard QC, marked the start of the organisation’s 150th celebrations, a year which the Governor described as a ‘hallmark’ and ‘something to be celebrated.’

“It is a thrilling moment for an organisation which has achieved so much, and survives and thrives,” she said.

The Governor said it was important to realise that in 1869, when OCAV was founded, that Government House had not been built although land had been set aside for the building; and the population then was around 100,000.

“It is against this backdrop that a group of men met to found an organisation to assist ‘necessitous’ old colonists with housing or loans. What a vision,” she said, adding that the mission had not changed and nor had the need.

The Governor highlighted that not only was the population ageing but that people were living longer and, for many, more healthily. Acknowledging Don Simpson, the Association’s sole centenarian, she suggested that in ten years’ time it would be highly likely that there would be many 100 year olds living in OCAV villages.

She said she was proud that, as Governor, she was patron and continued the tradition of Victoria’s Governors being involved with the association.

The Governor and Mr Howard were thanked for their hospitality by Carl Wood, OCAV Councillor, whose mother had lived in Rushall Park and Liscombe House.

“Having a place to call home, friends around you and support when needed is something that we all aspire to,” he said.

Mr Wood said that while trends come and go, a constant for OCAV is how history continues to play its part.

“For instance, many of our founders and first colonial settler families remain connected with us in one way or another, whether it is through bequests, trusts and foundations or reconnecting with families such as the Coppin family, the Sumner family, the Downies, the family of two of our first honorary medical officers,” he said.

The afternoon ended with a hearty three cheers for the Old Colonists.

Caption: OCAV’s CEO Phillip Wohlers, Council President Kevin Neville, Governor Linda Dessau AC,  Anthony Howard QC, Council members Judy Sharp, Carl Wood and Vice President Leslie Wood.

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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