Rand Aid Association’s Ron Smith Care Centre celebrated the opening of its Woodlands Garden and its facilities on 20 April.
Board members, employees, residents and village committees celebrated the opening of the lovely landscaped area – which was designed by Anthony Schaffler from Schaffler Nurseries – and includes a beautiful new lapa, with braai facilities; a pavilion overlooking the new Astroturf croquet lawn; mini golf (putt-putt); and a jungle gym for children who visit their loved ones.
“The opening of Woodlands Gardens is another great occasion in the ongoing redevelopment, renovation and expansion of the Ron Smith Care Centre,” said John Robinson, Rand Aid’s chairman of the board.
Over the past five years the care centre has been transformed to offer even better care for elders and its redesign ensures that it is able to care for their special needs.
Robinson acknowledged that the introduction of the Eden Alternative has ensured this transformation.
“The enthusiasm, training and dedication of management and staff has contributed to making this one of the best care establishments of its type in Africa. The Ron Smith Care Centre has been recognised for its exemplary provision of care, facilities and services for the aged by the United Nations World Health Organisation,” he confirmed.
Part of the opening celebration involved the unveiling of a plaque, which acknowledges a heartfelt donation from Barry and Theresa Dubb, in honour of Barry’s mother Joyce Dubb, a resident at Ron Smith. When the Dubbs got married, they requested that donations be made to the care centre in lieu of wedding gifts and it is this funding which kick-started the garden project.
The croquet lawn and putt-putt course were officially opened when residents Sylvia Laserow hit a croquet ball through a wicket and Christine Kincaid-Smith attempted a putt-putt hole-in-one! A champagne toast, in honour of the new garden and facilities, followed.
The care centre’s employees concluded the event in traditional dress, singing a beautiful blessing for the garden.
Robinson is sure that Woodlands Garden is a welcome addition to the care centre and will bring much enjoyment and to residents and their families and friends.
Ron Smith Care Centre’s complex manager Helen Petrie invited guests to view the new widened bridge over the Jukskei River (the old one was destroyed by severe storms and flooding in November 2016) and said that it can now accommodate golf carts and wheelchairs. This increased accessibility will hopefully encourage more interaction between all of Rand Aid’s retirement villages.