June Laing

Living the best of both worlds

June made the move to a Retirement Living Unit at Freemasons in Lindisfarne the way she has done everything else in life: boldly. To her, there was never really any question of going anywhere else. “My mother was here for 20 years – that was 32 years ago now.

I knew the Freemasons Home very well – in fact there is a garden in my brother’s memory here as well. The unit I am in now: my sister in law, my brother’s wife, lived in for about four or five years before me.”

June made the decision to leave her home at Mt Nelson and move across the river to her unit four years ago. Her husband Bob passed away six years ago, and after trying to maintain the house and garden on her own for two years, it was clear it was time to move on. “I hate gardening, it’s such a chore. But I love gardens,” June says.

June has the best of both worlds now. “I am very comfortable here. I have a lovely unit. I have outside access and a nice garden. The gardeners are wonderful and they take care of it extremely well. I just get to enjoy it. Then I also have inside access to a shared laundry with three of my neighbours. My unit is lovely and spacious and there’s plenty of room for my own things.” June’s interests are very clear from her lovely collection of elephants that decorate the living area in the unit. “My family will bring them for me when they come, to add to my collection.”

June is what might be called a pioneer – she has always been adventurous, outdoorsy, passionate, open and intrepid. She spent a good amount of time on yachts with her husband – who was a yachtsman and sailed 16 Sydney-Hobart yacht races. “He taught me to sail. We sailed up the east coast of Tasmania for two months one year. Just the two of us. I did a lot of yacht racing in a small yacht on my own. I also love fly fishing.”


She has certainly brought her passion for life and the outdoors with her. “I like to go out and about. I go to the yacht club for lunches. I can no longer go out on the yachts but I love to go and see them and talk to everyone – all our old friends. I also love walking out my door and down to the water and looking at the yachts. The water is so close; I am in a great spot here.”

June says her recent health issues mean she doesn’t venture quite as far as she used to, but it certainly hasn’t slowed her down too much. “I still go to restaurants for lunch with my friends. Truth be told, I don’t really stay home very much. I live independently, but if I ever have any healthy issues, I have a Red Cross bell and I can press the button and get help straight away. They send an ambulance and then they stay on the line and talk to you until they get there.”

June says moving in to the unit was simple and easy. “Nothing about transitioning was difficult – I wanted to come. Even the first night I slept well. I like it because I have made a lovely lot of friends. I regularly talk to my neighbours. A group of us like to go to Chats (the on-site café) every Saturday and talk and carry on.” And while she is independent, June values the care she receives. “The staff are wonderful. They are just beautiful, so kind. They are very good to me. If I am not feeling great, I call them and they send food down to me. Sometimes that is just what I need.”

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