Two lives were toasted at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre when residents Lynn Kingston and Frank Lucas were ceremoniously handed mini biographies.
Friday, August 26, saw a long-time dream of the care centre’s liaison officer Phyllis Phillips come to fruition, when the first two ‘My Story’ booklets were handed over the Lynn and Frank in the presence of family, friends and loved ones.
The idea was gleaned by Phyllis on a trip to Australia. It involves a friend, volunteer or loved one spending quality time with a resident taking trips down memory lane and capturing his or her story.
A booklet is then produced, complete with photos across the ages.
“This is a therapeutic, meaningful project,” said Phyllis. “Rand Aid is amazing,” she said, in thanking the NPO for supporting the initiative. “Through the people-centred Eden Alternative programme, Rand Aid acknowledges the importance of its residents as individuals – who they are and what they are is as important as the care they receive; we are not just here to look after our residents.”
Lynn’s story was captured by Elphin Lodge resident Jean Johnson, while Frank’s was documented by his wife Pat – who lives at Elphin Lodge – and his daughter Jill Middleton.
“This is a wonderful honour to bestow on my Dad,” said Jill at the hand-over tea, adding that the book will be handed down the generations. Frank has achieved much in his lifetime, including being Mayor of Bedfordview, but his greatest success is the wonderful, close-knit family he heads. All four of his children, a number of his grandchildren and even a great grand-daughter were present on the morning.
Lynn was deprived of oxygen at birth and has lived with cerebral palsy. Despite her challenges, she contributed positively to society, working for 46 years as switchboard operator at her alma mater, Forest Town; and helping to raise Lucky Dinake, who today is a PR councillor for the DA in Bedfordview.
“You might see a little person sitting in a wheelchair,” said author Jean, “but she is phenomenal. A real dynamo.”
“Lynn was and is a mother to me – she was my best friend, substitute mother and partner in crime in our incredibly alternative family. She endured so much difficulty with so much grace and inspired me to be the man I am today,” said Lucky.
Back: Author Jean Johnson; and Ron Smith Care Centre liaison officer Phyllis Phillips, who drove the ‘My Story’ initiative. Front: Lynn Kingston and Lucky Dinake.
Three of the Lucas’ grandsons: Jeremy, Michael and Nicholas.
Pat and Frank Lucas with daughter Jill and great grand-daughter Amelia.
Pat and Frank Lucas (centre) with son Mark on the left, David on the right, and great grand-daughter Amelia on Pat’s knee. Standing at the back are daughters Jill and Lynda.