A â€œvery shortâ€ courtship in 1964 led to a lifelong love affair for Meg and Roy, not only with each other, but with Warragul and the Fairview Village community.
When local identities Meg and Roy Edwards relocated their lives to Fairview Village’s independent living units in November 2010, a welcoming neighbor asked whether they had met anyone new.
“You’ve got to be kidding?!” Meg recalls having replied; “We already knew everyone here before we arrived!”
Little did the welcoming neighbour know, Meg and Roy’s association with Fairview Village and Warragul stretched back five decades, to when Roy first blew brass in the local Salvation Army band, playing hymn tunes to some of Fairview Village’s very first residents.
Having provided housing and care to thousands of the region’s elderly over the years, Fairview Village’s not-for-profit model is steeped in proud charity spirit and goodwill.
Formed by a committee of proactive community members in the 1950s, Fairview Village pioneered aged care in the region during a time when West Gippsland Hospital was the only refuge for elderly in need of care.
Roy recalls his first impressions as a 20-year-old of Fairview Village as a “very new and very small” community.
Running a bottle collection business and shoe shop during his working life, Roy’s larger-than-life character existed long before his Fairview Village years as one of Warragul’s best known local entrepreneurs.
“I had the shoe shop for 22 years and knew possibly everybody on the street. I couldn’t name them all, but knew them all by face,” Roy said.
As the town grew, so did Fairview Village, expanding its services and accommodation year by year, thanks to vigorous fundraising efforts in the community.
All the while Meg and Roy’s service to Fairview Village and the community continued through the Salvation Army until 2010, when Fairview Village became another influence on their lives.
“We hadn’t initially thought of coming here to live, but had been in the same house in Warragul for 44 years, and it came to the point we had too many steps front and back, but we couldn’t modify the house,” Meg said.
“We just came and had a bit of a look at Fairview Village on an open day and decided this would solve all our problems. It would be perfect.”
Moving in six years ago, Meg and Roy quickly found comfort in the spacious independent living units and tight-knit neighbourhood to live out the next chapter of their lives.
“We’ve had a lot of things in our diary out in the Warragul community and that’s been able to continue, so we’ve got the best of both worlds here,” Meg said.
“If you’re thinking about taking this step, you need to come early enough to make a new life for yourself, so it’s not just an afterthought,” Meg said.
“We haven’t looked back, it’s been marvelous.”