The first-ever resident of Ryman’s latest retirement village in Lynfield is settling into his brand-new apartment after moving in from just a few metres away.
Bob Caley has lived next door on Tropicana Drive, which leads up to the village site, for 50 years, meaning the move was also a new record for the moving company. “The guy said it was the shortest distance he’s ever had to move someone,” laughed Bob, who for the last year has been watching the progress of his new apartment being built from the comfort of his back yard. “I could see where my apartment was going to be and I realised I would be able to see the house from the far end of the balcony of the apartment,” said Bob.
Not only that, he will have a clear view of the rest of the complex while it gets built since his living room looks out onto the heart of the village. His verdict? “Good! Yes, it’s lovely. It’s been a bit of a worry up until now getting everything sorted but the girls have been excellent,” he said, referring to his three daughters Denise, Joanne and Fiona.
Both the views and the apartment prompted wows from the daughters who were there on the day to help their dad move in. “It’s beautiful, it’s really great!” said Denise.
The sisters said they had taken their dad out for dinner the previous night to mark the end of an incredible era and as a distraction from last night jitters. “It’s good for all of us to know he’s safe and secure and he won’t have to deal with things as they start to break down in the house,” said Joanne. “Knowing he’s settled in here will take away quite a lot of that worry for us.”
Bob and his late wife Val bought their section on Tropicana Drive for £2,000 from Bill Subritzky who was also the former owner of village site. Bill went on to develop the whole of the street as part of the Parade of Homes, which were unveiled by the then prime minister Rob Muldoon in 1968.
As part of his welcome into his new home Bob was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers by sales advisors Frances Quirk and Michelle Garland plus a lunch platter to tide the family over during the big move. There were Ryman staff on hand to shift his furniture up from the basement and brief him on how everything works.
The biggest challenge would be using the dishwasher, said Joanne. “He’s never had a dishwasher in his whole life so he’ll have to figure that one out!”
The second resident to move into the village was Riley Wouldes, whose brother Nigel and sister-in-law Robyna live two doors down from Bob’s house on Tropicana Drive!
Riley had been living in Pt England and initially considered buying into a village on that side of town until he realised he could get a good deal on a brand new Ryman apartment over this way and be nearer to Nigel and his family at the same time.
The one he settled on looks out over the village entrance on Commodore Drive, perfect for watching all the comings and goings.
Nigel and Robyna accompanied Riley on his first day along with their daughter Marie and granddaughter Caitlin, with Marie clearly delighted with her uncle’s new home. “It’s beautiful, it’s just fantastic, I’m jealous!” she said. “I can’t wait for Mum and Dad to move in too!”
Marie said she had noticed Riley had definitely ‘perked up’ as the move became imminent. "Once he's settled in, he's just not going to know himself!" she said. Nigel agreed: “It’s a big weight off knowing he’s finally moved in here and the location is perfect as the view is always changing.”
And Riley’s verdict on his new home? “I think I could get used to this!” he said with a big smile on his face.